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Full text of "Correspondence with Caroline Bowles, to which are added correspondence with Shelley, and Southey's dreams. Edited, with an introd. by Edward Dowden"

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BUT by the way (Madam) you may see how much I differ from the morosity 
of those Cynicks who would not admit your sex into the communities of a 
noble friendship. ... I cannot say that Women are capable of all those 
excellencies by which Men can oblige the World ; and therefore a female friend 
in some cases is not so good a counsellor as a wise man, and cannot so well 
defend my honour ; nor dispose of reliefs and assistances if she be in the power 
of another : but a woman can love as passionately, and converse as pleasantly, 
and retain a secret as faithfully, and be useful in her proper ministries ; and she 
can die for her friend as well as the bravest Roman Knight. 

JEREMY TAYLOR, in A Letter to the most Ingenious 
and Excelknt Mrs. Katherine Phillips. 


It is not once an age two hearts are set 
So well in unison that not a note 
Jars in their music ; but a skilful hand 
Slurs lightly over the discordant tones, 
And wakens only the full power of those 
That sound in concord. 

Happy, happy those 
Who thus perform the grand concerto Life. 

CAROLINE BOWLES, The Birthday, Part II. 

IT was Southey's wish that his correspondence with Caroline 
Bowles, afterwards Caroline Southey, at a fitting time should 
see the light. " As for my letters," he wrote (December 18, 
1829), " I will deposit them with yours (for I have preserved 
every line that I ever received from you) . There is nothing in 
them which might not be seen by men and angels, and though 
written, as their utter carelessness and unreserve may show, 
without the slightest reference to any other eyes than those to 
which they were addressed, I shall not be unwilling to think 
that when time has consecrated both our memories (which it 
will do) this correspondence may see the light. Our earthly 
life, dear Caroline, lasts longer than in the hearts of those we 
love ; it endures in the hearts of those whom we have never 
known, and who learn to love us after our work on earth is 
done. They who live on earth in their good works continue to 
make friends there as long as their works survive ; and it may be 
one of the pleasures of another state to meet those friends when 
they seek us in heaven. I often feel that this will and must be 
so when, on reading a good old book, my heart yearns towards 

viii INTR 01) UCTION. 

the author." And in a like spirit is the answer of Caroline 
Bowles " I shall now keep those treasured letters while I live, 
with a clear conscience, and perhaps you may have created in 
my heart a feeling which before (as relating to myself) had no 
existence there a degree of interest in something of me that 
shall survive on earth I mean our correspondence. All my 
share in it will find indulgence for your sake." To the Rev. 
J. Wood Warter, Southey's son-in-law, Caroline Southey left 
these letters, with a well-founded confidence that in the hands 
of Mr. Warter and his family her memory would be strongly 
and safely guarded. Mr. Warter died before his purpose of 
publishing this correspondence was carried into effect. Shortly 
after the appearance of the volume " Eobert Southey," in 
Mr. Morley's "English Men of Letters," I requested Miss 
Warter to allow me to examine the correspondence with Caro- 
line Bowles, with a view to its possible publication in the 
" DUBLIN UNIVERSITY PRESS SERIES." She kindly granted my 
request : with her permission the present volume is published, 
and from her I have received in its preparation frequent and 
valuable aid. 

On going through the material placed at my disposal, I 
perceived that a selection from the letters would appear with 
greater advantage than the entire correspondence. For two 
reasons : first, as regards Southey so considerable a body of 
his letters has already been put forth that Southey's life lies 
largely open, and many things told in letters already printed 
are told in almost the same words in some of his letters to 
Caroline Bowles. Secondly, as regards her in consequence of 
her secluded life, in which incidents were rare, and of those 
shattering attacks of illness, often recurrent, which narrowed 
her world for the time being to her sick chamber, with its 
broken thoughts and memories and love, not a few of her 
letters lack the kind of interest which extends to strangers; 
yet especially in her days of pain and weakness Southey de- 
sired to be informed of her state, and it beguiled the time to 
converse on paper, when that was possible, with her absent 
friend. What is beautiful in these letters is her fine solicitude 


for the happiness of others ; her aloofness from life, with an 
instinctive turning back towards life, as of a plant which loves 
the sun ; those sudden beams and flashes which betray a spirit 
naturally bright ; and as recovery advanced her pleasure in the 
delicate luxuries of convalescent senses the light touch of a 
morning breeze, the brightness of a flower, a bird's passage or 
swift song. 

Considerably less than half of the material placed in my 
hands now appears in print. As I went along I had my eye 
on "Southey's Life and Letters," and on the "Selection of 
Letters" edited by Mr. Warter, and I omitted many letters and 
passages of letters which repeat what is already known. But 
in some cases I have risked the danger of repetition : thus the 
letter to Caroline Bowles which tells of Southey's visit to the 
deathbed of Bell, the educational reformer, may with advan- 
tage displace that previously published, as being fuller of 
detail ; and again, the letter describing his visit in 1836 to the 
scenes of his childhood says the same things which are said to 
Grosvenor Bedford; but it is in writing to Caroline Bowles 
that the .outbreak like the sob of a strong man comes " There 
have been times, and are, dear friend, when I feel like Eleemon, 
as if the fountain of tears were dry ; as if my eyes had been 
seared, and my heart had been so often and so long upon the 
anvil, that it had been rendered insensible. But to-day it was 
with great difficulty that I could so far command myself as not 
to let my emotions be seen." After making all omissions 
which seemed desirable, there is here a plentiful remainder to 
furnish forth an interesting chapter in Southey's life one 
essential to its completeness the chapter which tells of the 
most important friendship of his elder years. 

In an Appendix will be found the register of fantastic 
dreams of which Southey speaks in a letter to Caroline Bowles, 
of October 2nd, 1826. It is to be regretted that Shelley hardly 
more than began his Catalogue of the Phenomena of Dreams, as 
connecting sleeping and waking. " Here," he says, " I was 
obliged to leave off, overcome by thrilling horror." But for 
this we might have possessed a second remarkable contribution 


towards the psychology of poets.* I do not know whether any 
such collection of a poet's dreams as this of Southey's exists 
elsewhere. What is extravagant in Thalaba, what is grotesque 
in the Ballads, is paralleled by the wild work which went on in 
their inventor's brain during sleep. The moral ardour which 
breathes through his poems, the passion of righteousness,! the for- 
titude of faith, must be recognised by every reader who knows 
Southey as the breath of his own higher life. The romantic 
incidents of his poetry were partly found by him as foreign 
materials, and were woven together by his constructive talent ; 
but they were partly native to his imagination, and given by it. 
The caverns of the Domdaniel, the Afreet wardens, the Teraph 
and the Fire, the blue-eyed Sorceress, Khawla and Mohareb, 
were not ingeniously pieced together from Southey's note- 
book ; they sprang wildly from his brain, and were subdued to 
a moral purpose by his dominant passion of righteousness. For 
vampires did not lodge in Greta Hall, and surely we cannot 
attribute Southey's elaborated horrors of phantasy to that one 
tumbler of currant rum, accompanied by the sedative of a 
sermon from some elder English divine, or a chapter of some 
foreign chronicler, which formed the last frugal meal for mind 
and body. 

* " The poverty of my dreams mortifies me. There is Coleridge, at his 
will can conjure up icy domes, and pleasure-houses for Kubla Khan, and 
Abyssinian maids, and songs of Abora, and caverns, 

' Where Alph, the sacred river, runs,' 

to solace his night solitudes when I cannot muster a fiddle. . . . The 
degree of the soul's creativeness in sleep might furnish no whimsical 
criterion of the quantum of poetical faculty resident in the same soul 
waking. An old gentleman, a friend of mine, and a humorist, used to 
carry this notion so far, that when he saw any stripling of his acquaintance 
ambitious of becoming a poet, his first question would be : Young man, 
what sort of dreams have you ? * " CHAKLES LAMB, Witches and other 
Night Fears. 

t "Full of soft pity, like the wailings of a mother," says Carlyle, 
speaking of Southey's chief poems, and he rightly adds, " yet with a clang 
of chivalrous valour finely audible too." 


In the Appendix is also printed a short but remarkable 
correspondence, hitherto unpublished, of Southey with Shelley. 
The first letter one of Shelley's, and unconnected with those 
which follow accompanied a copy of Alastor presented to 
Southey. It serves as a link between the period of Shelley's 
personal intercourse with Southey at Keswick (1811-1812) and 
that of the renewed intercourse by letter, eight years later.* 
When setting forth to evangelize Ireland, Shelley beheld, 
through the luminous vapour of his boyish enthusiasm, a dis- 
torted image of Southey. f The real Southey, it now becomes 
apparent, re-emerged to view when time, experience, and dis- 
appointments had taught Shelley to estimate men more justly. 
The later letters those of 1820 appear after the lapse of sixty 
years, in accordance with Southey's view as to what might 
be expected, and what was^ right to expect.J These letters set 
forth the characters and principles of two extraordinary men in 
a singularly vivid light. It is easy for the lover of Southey to 
be unjust to Shelley, and easy for the lover of Shelley to mis- 
interpret Southey. There are perhaps some persons whose sym- 
pathy with man is wide enough to include types of character 
so diverse, and such persons rejoicing in human goodness, 
piteous for human frailty may be trusted to discover what 
virtue there is in the severe, yet sorrowful, arraignment by the 
one writer, and in the other's eager and solemn assertion of his 

* Peacock speaks of a meeting of Southey and Shelley in the autumn of 
1814, of which Shelley gave him some account. I suspect that Peacock's 
memory misled him. In a letter to Bernard Barton (1822) Southey gives a 
brief survey of his connexion with Shelley, and neither in it, nor elsewhere, 
I believe, makes reference to any meeting later than 1812. " By-the-bye," 
Southey writes to Bernard Barton in this unpublished letter, " he [Shelley] 
was remarkably like Mr. Clarkson, though upon a small scale. His eyes 
were set in the same manner, and the resemblance between son and father 
could not be stronger." 

f See McCarthy's Shelley's Early Life, p. 136. 

| See p. 76 of the present volume. 

The central question at issue is this (and perhaps the answer to it is 
not hard to find) : " How far did the principles held by Shelley open a way 


Although many of Southey's letters have been printed, no 
correspondence has hitherto appeared having a unity of its own, 
and exhibiting his thoughts and feelings in their play and in- 
terchange with those of another mind. To none of his friends 
could he give so much as he gave to Caroline Bowles, and in 
friendship surely it must be more blessed to give than to re- 
ceive. But he also received much. Not that elevating guid- 
ance into new realms of thought, that discovery of higher 
spheres of feeling which in some rare instances has been the 
gift of a woman to a man 

" Alcun tempo il sostenni col mio volto ; 
Mostrando gli ocelli giovinetti a lui, 
Meco il menava in dritta parte volto" ; 

not that hardy comradeship founded upon equality, which is 
perhaps as rare. These it was not in the power of Southey's 
friend to bestow. But what she had she gave, and that was 
much the answer of the spirit to every summons and challenge 
of his spirit, the assent and consent of a kindred mind, the 
quick perceptions of a bright and cultivated intelligence, the 
charm of graceful animation with that repose which the security 
of unvarying affection brings. She came to him as a friend in 
darkening days, after the death of his beloved son, and when he 
had begun to step downward from the heights of life. During 
the long insidious approaches of Mrs. Southey's malady there 
was sustenance for a heart often exhausted by anxiety in his 
friend's sympathy : among many difficult and perplexing things 
here was one thing without difficulties, and always sure. And 
when the true nature of his wife's malady declared itself, and 
the light of Southey's life was extinguished, in communion with 
a friend there was a refuge from calamity better than the des- 

for conduct which led, directly or indirectly, to the ruin of one whom 
Shelley was bound to protect from others and from herself?" Southey 
certainly erred in supposing that Shelley's character had deteriorated since 
1812 ; but knowing as much and as little as he did, Southey's error was 
inevitable. The first letter (March 7th, 1816) is printed from what I take 
to be the original in Shelley's handwriting ; the rest from transcripts made 
by Caroline Bowles. 


perate refuge of work, or the half shelter of uneasy slumbers. 
There have not been so many recorded friendships of man arid 
woman, the source of mutual comfort, honourable, constant and 
untroubled through a course of many years, that we can afford 
to forget the friendship of Southey and Caroline Bowles. 

In these quick and crowded days, it is perhaps unreasonable 
to expect that many persons will find interest in the days and 
hours of a quiet life spent a long time ago among flowers and 
birds and books. And yet there is pleasure in contemplating 
a modest precinct of order where a refined and cheerful exist- 
ence grows from elements few and simple. As a writer, Caroline 
Bowles once held a place of some distinction, and she is still 
worthy of remembrance. Much that she wrote must drift away 
to give place to contemporary writings, equally good, if not 
better, and claiming the dues of novelty ; but her best work, 
small in quantity, may rank with the best of its kind that 
English women have wrought in English verse. 

Caroline Anne Bowles was born at Lymington, Hampshire, 
on December 6th, 1786 or 1787 ; in which of these two years 
she was herself uncertain. Her father's, an old Lincolnshire, 
family, is said to have been originally Norman.* Through her 
maternal grandmother, Mrs. George Burrard (born Durell), 
she was connected with the French-speaking aristocracy of 
Jersey, and there were traditions of their ancient manor in all 
its feudal greatness. In the home of Caroline's childhood 
might be seen representatives of four generations stately old 
Madame Durell, her grandmother's mother ; grandmother Bur- 
rard, now sixty years of age, with silver hair, apple cheek, un- 
wrinkled forehead, and soft blue eye, gracious, gentle, and be- 
lovedf ; Caroline's mother rich in old tales, and family legends 

* The poet W. Lisle Bowles claimed Caroline as one of his kin, but the 
kinship was only one pleasantly fancied on the ground of the identity of 
names. In one letter, she speaks of Lord Herbert of Cherbury as her 

t In The Birthday Caroline Bowles describes her grandmother, as her 
nurse remembered, " among her maidens throned at the eternal tapestry." 
" Madame Burrard, as she grew old, used to be carried from the porch at 


and traditionary lore ; and the little fairy girl herself, the new- 
born future emerging from so long a past, bringing into the 
midst of so many twilight lives the breeze and gladness of a 
dawn. From this group the faithful bonne must not be ex- 
cluded, more friend than servant, wearing still her " high Jersey 
cap, and large ear-rings and short jacket," who every 6th of 
December, in spite of frost or snow, must find a birthday nose- 
gay for her child, and who, last of the elder race, died at a good 
old age in Caroline's arms. 

Captain Bowles of the East India Company's service bought 
Buckland Cottage, " an old-fashioned, small house with great 
elms partly overshadowing its trim gardens and mossy lawns," 
while Caroline was still a little girl, and all her memories of 
joy and sorrow centred in that beloved home. An only child, 
and with no companionship but that of her elders, she was in 
some ways in advance of her years, while she remained at heart 
an unfledged thing. Her deft fingers, with skill inherited from 
old Madame Burrard, worked devices on the sampler, or fashioned 
raiment for her family of dolls ; they drew what to complacent 
parental eyes seemed genuine landscapes ; they cut in paper all 
Noah's menagerie from models in Goldsmith's Animated Nature, 
or the paladins and ladies of Ariosto nay, on one occasion 
even "Ulysses 

" Locked in the shaggy fleeces of the ram." 

Books were her playfellows, and before her father had gone 
far in her writing lessons, he was constrained not needing 
strict compulsion to become amanuensis to the small poetess 

Buckland Cottage in a sedan chair to her pew in church. There, I am 
afraid, she bowed and curtsied to her friends before the service began ; but 
I am sure that she stood up in her little high-heeled shoes of black velvet, 
with silver buckles, and that a diamond crescent sparkled just in front of 
her powdered hair, which was drawn up on a cushion under a lace cap and 
hood. The rest of her dress was invariably black ; but she also wore the 
lace muffles, neck-kerchief and apron that had been in fashion when she 
was exactly like what her little grand-daughter afterwards became." 
" Robert Southey's Second Wife," in the Cornhitt Magazine, vol. xxx. 


between his knees, who dictated such rhapsodies as those which 
a little later she would herself confide to the blank pages of 
drawing-books and receipt-books. Alone in her swing, when 
the pendulous motion had settled to stillness, she created in 
waking dream Eastern palaces, where Mesrour and Giaffer 
stepped behind the Commander of the Faithful with Zobeide 
at his side. All living creatures grew dear to her all, except 
the parrot, whose diligence in learning had been odiously con- 
trasted with her idleness; she fed with cream and sugar the 
Princess Hemjunah, a monstrous toad who lodged under the 
old gum-cistus ; when Chloe's blind puppies needed an airing, 
her wheelbarrow became their barouche ; in her hospital a 
young Sister of Mercy she nursed the maimed squirrel, the 
one-legged bullfinch, and that wounded leveret who grew up 
an ungrateful hare, and fled away. Dearest of all were her 
spaniel, and Juba her " little horse," who fed from the tiny 
hand of his mistress, a child half-tomboy and half-sprite. In a 
nook of the rambling garden her religion had its secret rites ; 
there a mossy altar was erected (G-essner's Death of Abel lending 
inspiration), where with piety, a little haunted by self-doubt, 
she played the natural priest, and offered up bloodless sacrifice' 
of flowers and fruits. 

Captain Bowles, with a forefeeling of the nervous disease 
which left Caroline at an early age an orphan, was a sad and 
silent man ; yet in his sadness ever gentle to the little daughter, 
who knew how to hold her peace, and only steal her hand into 
his, when the dark hour was on him. Angling was his patient 
pleasure ; and on many a summer day, from early morning till 
late evening, Caroline was his companion along the banks of 
Roy den stream. Under its rustic bridge, in a small cave her 
basket, stored with wholesome home-made viands, would lie ; at 
noon came the delight of a sylvan feast ; and when platter and 
ilask and cup were safely packed, Caroline would draw from the 
fisher's pouch an old russet- covered book, her father's copy of 
Izaak Walton, and there in a ferny grotto, half circled by vast 
oak-roots, the river rippling below, the sunshine filtering from 
above, she would sit " like hare upgathered in her form," be- 


come the scholar of Piscator, con those scraps of divine Du 
Bartas, and Kit Marlowe, and holy Master Herbert, or listen 
well-pleased to the ballad sweetly sung by hone% Maudlin. 

Another spot where quietude and delight had meeting was 
Mr. Gilpin's study. His " Essay on Prints " and his studies of 
picturesque landscape in various parts of England keep that 
good man's memory alive. Rector of Boldre, on the borders of 
the New Forest, and now in benign old age, he united the charac- 
ters (not always conjoined) of saint and artist. To be allowed 
the three-miles' walk which ended with the rose-clad rectory 
was Caroline's delight. There the white-haired hostess would 
give her greeting, would divest her of hat and tippet, cool her 
forehead with a sovereign wash of elder water, and prescribe 
sitting " quite still " until tea- time. But the wistful eyes which 
settled on the study door would betray the little visitor's im- 
patience, and on leave given to ask admittance she would dart 
off, all weariness departed : 

" Blithe as a bird, thus freed, away I flew, 
And in three seconds at the well-known door 
Tapped gently ; and a gentle voice within 
Asking " Who's there ? " " It's me " I answered low, 
Grammatically clear. " Let me come in " 
The gentle voice rejoined ; and in I stole, 
Bashfully silent, as the good man's smile 
And hand extended drew me to his chair." 

When bashfulness being lost in content while the old collector 
displayed some chosen treasures the small tongue would trot, 
nimble in a critic's censure or delight, to which William Grilpin 
would respond with mild vindication or instructive word of 

The death of Caroline's great-grandmother, grandmother 
and father, left Mrs. Bowles alone with her little daughter and 
her faithful bonne. Caroline Bowles had early knowledge of 
death, but her spirits were those of youth, her disposition was 
naturally bright, and her girlhood had its fitting opportunities 
of mirth. At Lymington, during the war with France, there 
was at one time an encampment of French Royalists, at another 
an assemblage of English or foreign troops. Caroline Bowles, 


half French by her traditions, and connected with the army 
through her uncle, afterwards Lieutenant- General Sir Harry 
Burrard, had no lack of invitations, and was not proof against 
the charms of the Lymington military balls. We are assured that 
she had many admirers, and that her youth endured its joy and 
sorrow of the heart : " She did indeed return the attachment of 
one in every respect worthy of her ; but it was at last decided 
by the family conclave that her engagement should be broken 
off. . . . She submitted her own judgment to that of her 
relations." * 

Early youth went by, and Caroline Bowles continued to 
reside at Buckland, drawing closer, if that was possible, to her 
one inseparable companion, her mother. In 1816, death came 
once again, unexpectedly ; and this time it left Caroline really 
desolate, "connected with the world by no filial or fraternal 
tie " ; she was motherless and alone. Only her faithful nurse 
remained, and the beloved dwelling-place inhabited by so many 
memories. A year later, and the loss of her home seemed im- 
minent, consequent upon the loss of her fortune through a 
guardian's unfaithful conduct. She clung to a place which 
affection made so dear, and now bethought her of the manu- 
script of a metrical tale which she had written, and for which a 
publisher might give a price. Herself in seclusion, away from 
the world of letters and of trade, she remembered how Southey 
had once found his pleasure in the generous exercise of power 
on behalf of Kirke White ; and taking courage, she forwarded 
her manuscript, introducing it with the first letter of the present 
Correspondence. It will be seen how prompt and kind was 
Southey's response, and how the growing fears of her suspense 
turned into a glow of grateful happiness and wonder. Her 
poem, indeed, did not at once find a publisher ; but she herself 
had found the friend of her life. 

A return, with added interest, of her father's goodness, now 

* " Robert Southey's Second Wife," in the Cornhill Magazine. To this 
article, written by one who was acquainted with Caroline Southey, I am 
indebted for a good deal of information. Its statements, however, are not 
all trustworthy. 



made to his child, saved her from the threatening exile. " You 
may remember," she writes to Southey at a later time (Nov. 11, 
1832), when again perplexities seemed gathering round her, 
" that when (in happy hour) I introduced myself to you, I 
was then in expectation of being compelled to give up my 
home, from pecuniary distress, the consequence of my guardian's 
fraudulent bankruptcy, from which only a little pittance was 
saved from the wreck. All on a sudden, as if from another 
world, started out to my assistance my father's adopted son, 
Mr. Bruce, then resident at Bushire, flourishing in splendid 
affluence. I think you know that in consequence of his 
vehement persuasions I remained on in this place, giving up 
those more prudent and then feasible plans which were already 
begun upon, and that to enable me to do so, he gave me an 
annuity of 150 a-year, a very small part of what he would 
have obliged me to accept had I wanted principle and delicacy 
so much as to accept more than was barely sufficient to enable 
me to live here with respectability." It was not only a part of 
his fortune which Captain Bruce desired to make over upon his 
sister by adoption ; she tells Southey, with an amused smile at 
her Eastern friend's zeal on her behalf, of other treasures in- 
tended for her : " Think how I was like to have been mounted ! 
You know I always told you I lived in fear of Captain Bruce's 
sending me over an elephant, or a dromedary, or a great adjutant, 
or some such gigantic beast or bird from his Eastern land. Well, 
some friends of his and mine are just come from Calcutta, and by 
them and in the same ship he had actually intended to send me 
a present of ' a splendid white ass of the desert breed, whose 
feet are as swift as the whirlwind, and whose bray may be heard 
three miles off ' ! ! Think of his writing thus to me, all in sober 
seriousness, adding how disappointed he was that the captain 
could not take the freight. * How you would have flown about 
the country upon him,' he adds ; * he was of the true breed ridden 
by the sons of the Prophet ; my friend the Scheriff of Mecca 
sent him to me. But never mind ! I have sent for a female 
out of Egypt, and then I shall have a breed and will send you 
the first foal.' Is not this friend of mine a comical person ? 


At one time he was going to consign a freight of fine young 
Persians to me ; at another a frightful old colonel with half^a 
liver, a daffodil face, and an emerald ring as big as half-a-crown 
on his little finger (I know the sort well). There is no calcu- 
lating where his vagaries will end." 

So, thanks to this brotherly friend, Buckland remained her 
home ; there she passed her days among her books and draw- 
ings, and flowers, with visits (often as sick-nurse) to the houses 
of neighbours, and in particular to Calshot Castle, the old 
watch-tower of the Solent, of which Sir Harry Burrard was 
now governor. From the reputation of an authoress she shrank, 
until it could no longer be escaped ; and her first poem, declined 
by Murray, but accepted by Longman, appeared anonymously. 
Ellen Fitzarthur is a metrical tale in the varying verse which 
Scott had made popular. It is no tale of adventure. Of ex- 
treme simplicity in its action, it depends, for awakening interest, 
on the truth and tenderness in its portrayal of the domestic 
affections and the pain of an injured heart. A youthful sailor 
is brought, hardly living, from the sea to the pastor's house ; he 
wins the only daughter's love ; compels her by a force which 
her heart cannot resist to leave her home ; and when with her 
babe the poor deserted wife drags back her weary limbs, it is 
to find her father's house ominously dark and silent. She fears 
the worst, and to solve her doubts will search in the moon- 
light her mother's tombstone, and see if the space beneath her 
mother's name is vacant still. Under the blown lime-tree 
boughs the light is faint and wavering ; for a moment she 
presses a trembling hand over her eyes, 

"As if to gain, 
'Twixt her and fate, a respite short and vain" ; 

then gazes and discovers, while her cry of despair rings through 
the night, that another name is there. 

During the first five years the interchange of letters between 
Caroline Bowles and Southey was irregular and infrequent. In 
June, 1820, they met in London face to face for the first 
time. All that Caroline Bowles meant and wished to say 




vanished clean out of her head in the Laureate's presence, and 
before she regained possession of her true self the much-desired 
interview was over. Her second volume of verse, The Widow 1 s 
Tale, and other Poems, published in 1822, confirmed her in the 
place which she already occupied as a writer, in Southey's 
esteem. It exhibits a marked advance upon Ellen Fitzartliur. 
The principal piece is again a simple story, told in graceful 
verse, and rich only in the wealth of natural feeling which it 
attempts to interpret. A youth borne away by the press-gang 
from his bride returns, after many years, to find his wife dead, 
and his mother, a blind old woman, tenant of a mountain 
cottage, cared for by a little gold-haired damsel, who is his own 
daughter. Among the lesser poems is one, unduly prolonged, 
which, in its earlier part, catches the very spirit of a soft grey 
April day, when the clouds hang low, and the branches drip, 
and the earth is fragrant, and every bud is swelling ; a day on 
which the sun, before setting, breaks out with amber radiance, 
and the blackbird sings in the delaying twilight. In William 
and Jean, a pathetic story of parting and love and death is 
preluded with a bright sketch of country folk returning from 
Sunday evening service, thoroughly English in character, and 
with touches of that humour which enlivens some of Caroline 
Bowles's prose writings. The volume contains also two dramatic 
sketches, one passionate and tragic, the other tender and plain- 
tive ; and it is much to say that neither of these wholly fails of 
its intention. 

In the autumn of 1823, Caroline Bowles visited Keswick, 
and made acquaintance with Southey in his own home. It was 
a delightful time, and left a store of happy memories for the 
winter days at Buckland. After this visit, letters pass quickly 
to and fro ; and a little later, Southey proposed that intellectual 
union of which a poem, written in common by K. S. and C. A. B., 
was to be the fruit. We can, I think, see how it came about. 
At Kirkby Lonsdale, one wet forenoon, while the ladies of his 
party are engaged with their knitting, Southey takes out the 
memoranda for his projected poem, Robin Hood, preparing at 
the same time to write to Caroline Bowles, He is journeying 


to Coleorton, the seat of Sir Greorge Beaumont, a representative 
of the family of Beaumont the dramatist. Suddenly it occurs 
to him that he and his correspondent might unite their powers 
of imagination as Beaumont and Fletcher had done long since ; 
and forthwith he writes off the letter numbered XXII. in the 
present selection. 

What followed shall be told in the words of Caroline Bowles : 
" I read this letter with conflicting emotions. The proposal 
was most tempting, but a sense of incapacity withheld the 
free and full assent to it with which I should otherwise have 

"I dared not say yes, and I could not find in my heart to say 
no. So the memoranda arrived and the rough sketch followed, 
and in no long time came the writer. Full of his project, full 
of kindness, of energy, of hope, he did his utmost to encourage 
and inspirit me ; and his hopeful spirit was at least contagious 
for the time being, if not altogether convincing. 

"We talked over Robin Hood by my quiet fireside, sug- 
gesting, objecting, altering, disputing (it was pleasant to dis- 
pute) ; and when we came to the question of versification, the 
metre of Thalaba (for which, in an evil hour, I had declared 
my preference) was selected on that account, despite my plea 
that to admire and to achieve were two very different things, 
and that I was sure I should never succeed in it. My protest 
against having anything to do with * battle scenes and such 
like ' was more readily admitted, and * the women, children 
and forest' were assigned to my management. 

"So we parted, with a promise on my part to do my 

Two causes hindered the progress of the poem Southey's 
incessant occupation with work, needful to supply bread to his 
household, and the real inability of his coadjutor to master the 
Thalaba verse. Gradually their first hopes faded, but the de- 
sign was never wholly forgotten. Then came that sorrowful 
period when Southey's elasticity of mind was at length sub- 

* Preface to Rolrin Hood, which see also for what follows. 


dued, and the day's labour became a refuge from the day's 
distress. At last the cloud seemed to lift a little ; at eventime 
there was light ; old pleasurable projects revived ; "Robin Hood 
was shortly to be taken in hand in good earnest." Alas, that 
night was gathering to which the only dawn was death. The 
fragment of Robin Hood was published by the survivor four 
years after her husband's release from earthly life. Offspring 
of such joyous energy, the poem is piteous, like an untimely 
birth that may not see the sun. Three lines of it live in my 
memory, as the undesigned record, brief yet sufficient, of 
Southey's sorrow for his beloved Herbert : 

" He with a virile effort, self-controlled, 
Closed like a miser's treasure in his heart 
That grief of griefs." 

Such force put upon oneself wears the heart, and makes 
ready the brain for coming calamity. 

That visit to Buckland, with Robin Hood to plan and dispute 
over, was the first of several which Southey paid during his 
summer and autumn wanderings. In no other spot outside his 
own study could he carry on his literary work as he could in 
the quiet sitting-room of Buckland. His hostess was faithful, 
and would not exhibit him as her lion. Only once for an old 
and dear relative did she open the door while Southey was 
writing. " When you had shown my mane and my tail," ex- 
claimed her guest, " you might as well have let me roar." As 
soon as the pages for the Quarterly Review or for Longman 
were finished, the Shetland pony would be brought to the door, 
and Southey, of stature fit to converse on equal terms with a 
little lady on a little steed, would stride along by Oberon's 
side. The shaggy pony had for companion a shaggy dog of 
about his own size. " Tell Cuthbert," his mistress writes, " my 
dog is quite big enough for him to ride ; measures two yards 
and a-quarter from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail, and 
every now and then walks away by mistake with the tea-table 
upon his back. He is like a great white lion, curled all over, 
with black nose and ears." 


These visits to Southey were to Caroline Bowles the heart 
and kernel of the year. Although naturally hright of temper^ 
with some sprightly malice and no real unkindness of disposi- 
tion, her frequent ill-health, attended by much suffering, caused 
her spirits to fluctuate, and in her solitude there was a danger 
that no glad chance would come to lift her out of the depths. 
It is impossible to estimate how much she gained of hope and 
vigour from Southey's personal presence and from his kind and 
constant communication by the pen. Without him her life 
would have narrowed and dwindled and grown grey. With 
him for her friend, the world always owned one thing which 
made life a valuable possession. 

When, after change and grievous loss in his home, Southey 
set himself to apply the remains of life to worthy ends for 
great works lay still before him The History of Portugal, The 
History of the Monastic Orders, and The History of English 
Literature when he dared to look forward to a quiet eventide 
of toil, he found that his friend of twenty years, whose age 
approached his own, and whose sympathy with his thoughts 
and strivings was constantly and instinctively right, would be 
the truest and most helpful companion for the close of life. 
Making no breach with the past, he might draw the bonds of 
their friendship tighter ; he might perfect that friendship in 
the dearest way of all. When Caroline Bowles answered yes 
to Southey's request that she would become his wife, whether 
she anticipated declining years of peace, or (as some declare) 
saw the impending doom and gave herself up a willing sacrifice 
to love, she at least knew that Southey deemed her essential to 
his well-being. And, doubtless, if the anguish was great, the 
reward was great to be near him, and let him feel, however 
gropingly, that she was near in that dim antechamber to the 
tomb. We are told that while consciousness survived, her 
presence was a pleasure to him, and that his dulled eye would 
gleam with a moment's glad intelligence at her name. " Saint 
and martyr " are the titles which Walter Savage Landor as- 
signs to Caroline Southey. 

After her husband's death, in 1843, Mrs. Southey returned 


to the home of her childhood. Life was over, as far as she was 
personally concerned. " Her old gaiety was gone, and she shrank 
from any new literary exertion."* In Southey 's daughter, 
Edith May Warter, and her hushand she found loyal friends of 
her old age. Of Caroline Southey, they always spoke " as one 
of the hest and truest women that ever lived." t Through the 
exertions of her hushand's brother, Dr. Southey, a pension of 
200 a-year was granted to her hy the Queen in 1852, but it 
came almost too late. Caroline Southey died on July 20th, 
1854. Lymington churchyard is the place of her rest. 

A writer in the Cornhill Magazine, who was acquainted with 
Mrs. Southey, describes her in a way which would have sur- 
prised some of her readers, yet which is certainly correct. The 
publishers insisted, as she complained, that she must appear in 
her books as " a Niobe, all tears," and stir the springs of pity, 
not of mirth. I am inclined to think the publishers were right ; 
that when she bent her mind to strenuous work, her imagina- 
tion could not choose but deal with the piteous facts of life ; but 
on the surface of her mind were a gleam and ripple of bright 
womanly mirth. " Besides being agreeable herself," writes the 
Cornhill contributor, " she had the rare talent of making every- 
one she wished to please feel agreeable too ; and rather surprised 
her visitors now and then, not with her own talents, but with 
those they appeared to be gifted with in her society. It is still 
only fair to add, that her strong sense of the ridiculous, and 
her utter absence of sentimentality, disappointed comparative 
strangers, who expected something pathetic from the writer of 
so many touching poems. . . . No one more readily caught a 
friend's idea ; but it was quite a chance whether she would 
hold it up in a comical light, or with a variety of new shades 
added to it, that came from her own fancy." 

The portrait of Caroline Bowles which appears in this 
volume is photographed from a crayon drawing by herself, 

* " She paid at least one visit to London to see the beautiful recumbent 
statue of Southey" which lies in Crosthwaite Church. 

f See a letter of the Rev. Edmund Tew in Notes and Queries, April 9> 


made for Southey in 1833, and spoken of in the letters num- 
bered CLVL and CLYII. " It is a delightful picture," writes 
South ey, "as well as a very good likeness." This portrait 
occupied a place in the parlour of Greta Hall opposite to 
Southey's seat at the tea-table, where also he would sit, with a 
folio before him, for an hour after supper. The likeness in the 
upper part of the face to Southey himself, noticed by Henry 
Taylor, was also observed by Mr. Lough, the sculptor of 
Southey's recumbent figure in Crosthwaite Church. 

By the publication of The Widow's Tale, in 1822, Caroline 
Bowles had acquired some popularity as a writer, and Black- 
wood encouraged her to put together a number of miscellaneous 
poems in prose and verse : Southey supplied a title for the little 
volume Solitary Hours. It pleased her 'publisher, and pleased 
the public; two or three of its pieces of lyrical musing still 
survive, but it is inferior in value to the volume which went 
immediately before. Solitary Hours, however, proved that its 
author could write prose. Blackivood'' s Magazine and the An- 
nuals, then coming into fashion, were open to her contributions, 
and in Blackwood first appeared her Chapters on Churchyards, 
afterwards (1829) published separately. The sketches of Eng- 
lish rustic life in these Chapters are both bright and tender ; 
and one tale, of conspicuously higher merit than the rest, 
Andrew Cleaves, exhibits genuine tragic power. Andrew is the 
hard-tempered, close-fisted, narrow-brained, respectable small 
farmer, who in prudent years weds a thrifty wife, and after a 
short time loses her, but keeps and cherishes little Joey, her 
only child. All the congealed humanity of the hard man's 
nature flows into a living well of love for little Joey ; for his 
sake all toil is sweet, and every privation becomes a luxury. 
But Joey, as he grows in schoolboy wisdom, recognises in his 
father's affection only an instrument whereby to gratify his 
small greeds for pleasure. The petty vices and hard-heartedness 
of a child change into the deliberate profligacy of the man, 
and Joey's untimely end is on the gallows. With Andrew the 
fountains of the great deep are broken up ; anguish restores 
him to his kind, yet with some of his native starkness still re- 


maining. The shell containing his son's body is brought home 
upon Andrew's cart ; with a strange gentleness he dismisses 
the neighbours, saying that he will now take rest ; and when, 
through kindly curiosity, they come to look in through the dim- 
lighted window, there is the coffin laid straight upon the bed, 
and there is the desolate old man stretched beside it, in tranquil 
sleep, one arm flung over its side, and his head pressed against 
the deal. Andrew is of tough fibre, and endures ; parting with 
his patrimony to clear off his son's ill accounts, he rubs along 
through life with the old mare, serving the country side for 
many a year as carrier. Andrew Cleaves is a distant kinsman, 
in our imagination, of that old man, so plain and real, yet 
almost visionary through the strength and solitude of grief, 
who left unbuilt the sheepfold 

''Beside the boisterous brook of Green-head Ghyll." 

The parsimony of means used to produce a pathetic impres- 
sion by Wordsworth gives us in some degree a measure of his 

The actual miseries of English workmen and their children 
moved Caroline Bowles, in 1833, to write her little volume, 
Tales of the Factories verses which indignation made. A 
notice of their origin will be found in Letters CXLIX. and 
CLI. Some of the gaunt misery of the factory life is power- 
fully expressed in the first of these poems. What is lurid and 
exaggerated in the remaining pieces is accounted for, if not 
justified, by the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Com- 
mittee of the House of Commons. The dwarfed or distorted 
workmen testified to the horrors of the spinning-room and 
the card-room, and their testimony was accepted as true : 
" What were the hours of labour at the giggs ? We began at 
five on Monday morning, and went on to Tuesday night at 
nine. You were perfectly straight-limbed before ? Yes. And 
a very strong youth ? Yes. Were the girls strapped, as well 
as the boys ? Yes. Were the girls so struck as to leave marks 
upon their skin ? Yes ; they have had black marks many 
times." Through Caroline Bowles's poetry the cry of the 


children had gone up, before a greater sister-poet made that 
cry pierce deeper our forgetfulness of wrong. 

The last volume, wholly her own, published by Caroline 
Bowles, was that containing her autobiographical poem The 
Birthday (1836), from which I have woven together my notice 
of her childhood in this Introduction. It is this poem which 
chiefly bears out Henry Nelson Coleridge's description of her 
as " the Cowper of our modern poetesses." * " She has much 
of that great writer's (Cowper's) humour, fondness for rural life, 
melancholy pathos, and moral satire. She has also Cowper's 
pre-eminently English manner in diction and thought. We do 
not remember any recent author whose poetry is so unmixedly 
native; and this English complexion constitutes one of its 
characteristic charms." It is to be regretted that the poetical 
Autobiography goes no farther than her childhood. The 
reader who is unacquainted with the poetry of Caroline Bowles 
will perhaps be pleased to have a specimen presented, and I 
choose a descriptive rather than a humorous passage : 

" That was a lovely brook, by whose green marge, 
We two (the patient angler and his child) 
Loitered away so many summer days ! 
A shallow sparkling stream, it hurried now 
Leaping and glancing among large round stones, 
With everlasting friction chafing still 
Their polished smoothness on a gravelly bed, 
Then softly slipt away with rippling sound, 
Or all inaudible, where the green moss 
Sloped down to meet the clear reflected wave, 
That lipped its emerald bank with seeming show 
Of gentle dalliance. In a dark, deep pool 
Collected now, the peaceful waters slept 
Embayed by rugged headlands ; hollow roots 
Of huge old pollard willows. Anchored there, 
Rode safe from every gale, a silvan fleet 
Of milk-white water-lilies ; every bark 
Worthy as those on his own sacred flood 
To waft the Indian Cupid. Then the stream 
Brawling again o'er pebbly shallows ran, 
On on, to where a rustic, rough-hewn bridge, 
All bright with mosses and green ivy wreaths, 

* Quarterly Review, September, 1840. 


Spanned the small channel with its single arch ; 
And underneath, the bank on either side 
Shelved down into the water darkly green 
"With unsunned verdure ; or whereon the sun 
Looked only when his rays at eventide 
Obliquely glanced between the blackened piers 
With arrowy beams of orient emerald light 
Touching the river and its velvet marge." 

Among the shorter poems of The Birthday volume are some 
of the best of Caroline Bowles's miscellaneous verses The 
Legend of Santarem, telling in graceful stanzas the story (given 
to her in one of Southey's letters) of the Menino Jesus and his 
blessed fellow- children ; The Last Journey, which moves as to 
the stepping of the Egyptian bearers of the dead ; Little 
Leonard's Good-night, a poem that spoke touchingly to Southey's 
heart ; and a dainty copy of verses, as our grandfathers would 
have called them, sent " To My Little Cousin with her First 
Bonnet" in which that most exquisite piece of human head- 
gear is commended to the care of elfin guardians.* 

It is by a few of her shorter verses, The Mariner's Hymn, 
The Pauper's Death-bed, and one or two others, that Caroline 
Bowles is commonly represented, much as Southey must always 
appear as author of The Battle of Blenheim, or Mary the Maid of 
the Inn, and Mrs. Hemans of Casablanca and The Homes of 
England. There is some mysterious justice in the awards of 
fame with which one hardly dares to quarrel. But it seems to 
nie that three or four pieces, each of considerable length, and 
each in the rhymed couplet, which appear in the Robin Hood 
volume (1847), stand upon an altogether different level from 
any other poems of their author, and give her a title to rank 
high among women who have had a part in English poetry. 
These are The Young Grey Head, The Murder Glen, Walter and 
William, and The Evening Walk. If her poetical autobiography 
brings her into comparison with Cowper, these narrative pieces 
suggest another comparison, and would justify us in describing 
her as the Crabbe among our modern poetesses a Crabbe in 

* The word printed sonnet, p. 159, 1. 9, ought to be bonnet. 



whom womanly tenderness replaces the hard veracity charac- 
teristic of that eminent poet.* I am glad to confirm my own 
opinion with the judgment of a cultivated critic, David Moir. 
" We doubt," he says, " if the English language contains any- 
thing more profoundly pathetic than Mrs. Southey's four 
tales," naming those mentioned above. This is, indeed, ex- 
aggerated praise ; but it is the exaggeration which comes from 
high enjoyment. The difficult verse is managed for narrative 
purpose with an ease and strength which make one wonder how 
and where they were acquired. The poems do not well bear to 
be broken up, but a short passage may serve to show how the 
couplet is handled ; it is from The Young Grey Head, where the 
farmer finds his two children at the swollen ford : 

" ' That's sure,' said Mark. So let the lantern shine 
Down yonder. There's the dog, and, hark ! ' 

' Oh dear ! ' 

And a low sob came faintly on the ear, 
Mock'd by the sobbing gust. Down, quick as thought, 
Into the stream leapt Ambrose, where he caught 
Fast hold of something a dark huddled heap 
Half in the water, where 'twas scarce knee-deep, 
For a tall man ; and half above it, propp'd 
By some old ragged side -piles, that had stopt 
Endways the broken plank, when it gave way 
With the two little ones that luckless day ! 
' My babes ! my lambkins ! ' was the father's cry ; 
One little voice made answer ' Here am I ! ' 
'Twas Lizzy's. There she crouch' d, with face as white, 
More ghastly, by the nickering lantern light, 
Than sheeted corpse. The pale blue lips, drawn tight, 
Wide parted, showing all the pearly teeth, 
And eyes on some dark object underneath, 
Washed by the turbid water, fixed like stone 
One arm and hand stretched out and rigid grown, 
Grasping, as in the death-gripe Jenny's frock. 
There lay she drowned. Could he sustain that shock, 
The doating father ? Where's the unriven rock 
Can bide such blasting in its flintiest part 
As that soft, sentient thing the human heart ? 

* The treatment of the rhymed couplet by Caroline Bowles is, however, 
very different from that of Crabbe. 


In The Murder Glen, horror and pity are strangely and 
powerfully intertwined. The murderer's idiot child, whose 
only word is the half -articulate " Mam-mam," pleads, like one 
of Victor Hugo's piteous human grotesques, for all outcast, 
despised, downtrodden things. 

In this Introduction I have chosen to speak of Caroline 
Bowles rather than of Southey, for Southey 's character and life 
and work in literature are known. He appears in this Corre- 
spondence as he appears everywhere else a man sound to the 
core, with affections, conscience, will, intellect, imagination 
working together towards worthy and honourable ends, and 
underlying all these a temperament almost as dangerously 
excitable as that of Shelley. Carlyle, in his Reminiscences, 
with some valorous blundering, and some quite reckless mis- 
statements with reference to Caroline Bowles, has brought out 
vividly that union of passion with self-mastery and self-manage- 
ment which gave Southey his singularity among men of genius : 
" I said to myself, ' How has this man contrived, with such a 
nervous system, to keep alive for near sixty years ? Now 
blushing under his grey hairs, rosy like a maiden of fifteen; 
now slaty almost like a rattle-snake or fiery serpent ? How 
has he not been torn to pieces long since, under such furious 
pulling this way and that ? He must have somewhere a great 
deal of methodic virtue in him ; I suppose, too, his heart is 
thoroughly honest, which helps considerably.' " An Arab steed 
bearing the load of a pack-horse this was Southey ; and he 
bore his load steadily, gracefully, almost proudly ; bore it long 
and well ; then suddenly quivered, and fell beside the way. 

Had I lived when Southey was a force in English politics, 
I do not doubt that I should have been of the opposite camp 
with respect to some great public questions Catholic Emanci- 
pation, Parliamentary Reform, Free Trade, and perhaps others 
of deeper significance. It has been a lesson to me of no small 
value to learn why Southey and Wordsworth came to think on 
these and kindred subjects as they did ; to learn how large was 
their portion of the underlying truth. And it has been no 
common happiness to know for a fact that love and veneration 


are not paled in by our poor penfolds of opinions, but follow 
freely the high constraint proceeding from a beautiful human 

" As the water follows the moon silently, with fluid steps, 
anywhere around the globe." 

Praise, Southey would not have desired, and he does not need 
it, the life of a good man abiding as a part of the solid harvest 
and also of the ever renewing seed-time of our earth. But 
the judgment of his peers on Southey has been expressed in 
three monumental passages, and these have not yet been placed 
side by side. It is well to keep them on record, and here they 
shall stand : 

" Never in the course of my existence," wrote Walter Savage 
Landor, *' have I known a man so excellent on so many points. 
What he was as a son is now remembered by few ; what he was 
as a husband and father shows it more clearly than the best 
memory could represent it. The purity of his youth, the inte- 
grity of his manhood, the soundness of his judgment, and the 
tenderness of his heart, they alone who have been blest with the 
same qualities can appreciate. And who are they ? Many with 
one, some with more than one, nobody with all of them in the 
like degree. So there are several who possess one quality of his 
poetry ; none who possess the whole variety." 

" There are men with whose characters it is the interest of 
their contemporaries, no less than that of posterity, to be made 
acquainted," writes S. T. Coleridge. " I know few men who so 
well deserve as Southey the character which an ancient attri- 
butes to Marcus Cato, namely, that he was likest virtue, inas- 
much as he seemed to act aright, not in obedience to any law or 
outward motive, but by the necessity of a happy nature, which 
could not act otherwise. As son, brother, husband, father, 
master, friend, he moves with firm yet light steps, alike unos- 
tentatious and alike exemplary. . . . When future critics 
shall weigh out his guerdon of praise and censure, it will be 
Southey the poet alone that will supply them with the scanty 
materials for the latter.* They will likewise not fail to record, 

* In an earlier passage Coleridge has spoken with an admiration of 
Southey 's poems which would have satisfied even Landor. 


that as no man was ever a more constant friend, never had poet 
more friends and honourers among the good of all parties ; and 
that quacks in education, quacks in politics, and quacks in criti- 
cism were his only enemies." 

" Of what he did accomplish," writes Henry Taylor, "a por- 
tion will not soon be forgotten. There were greater poets in 
his generation, and there were men of a deeper and more far- 
reaching philosophic faculty ; but take him for all in all his 
ardent and genial piety, his moral strength, the magnitude and 
variety of his powers, the field which he covered in literature, 
and the beauty of his life it may be said of him justly and 
with no straining of the truth, that of all his contemporaries he 
was the greatest Man." 

Thus it is that those who knew him best have spoken of 

NOTE. The proofs of the first two sheets reached me at- a time when 
the originals of the letters were not within my reach, and I trusted to tran- 
scripts; hence the following errata: p. 15, 4 lines from bottom, for vale 
readwa//; p. 25, 10 lines from bottom, for forward Te&A. favourite; p. 29, 
15 lines from bottom for apprehensive read oppressive. 





April 25th, 1818. 

I AM startled at my own temerity, in venturing to approach 
Mr. Southey with a request which yet emanates from the 
very reverse of a presumptuous feeling with a request that he 
will charitably devote some leisure hour to the perusal of the 
manuscript which accompanies this petition, the contents of 
which I scarcely venture to dignify with the title of poem. It 
must appear strange that, entertaining so humble an opinion 
of its merits, I should be solicitous to hazard them at the 
tribunal of Mr. Southey's judgment the more so, as he is 
an entire stranger to the very name and existence of so insig- 
nificant a being as Caroline Bowles; and yet these considera- 
tions, far from deterring me from the measure, have decided 
me to adopt it : with regard to the first, it has even appeared 
to me that persons most eminently gifted are those who look 
with the greatest indulgence on the humble efforts of inferior 
minds ; and, at all events, I would rather be " weighed in the 
balance, and found wanting," by one so competent to decide, 
than approved of and encouraged by partial or incompetent 


judges. That I am also personally a stranger to Mr. Southey 
emboldens me to prefer my present petition. His character is 
known to me, not only through the medium of common fame, 
but by the report of one who knew him well in former days. 
Concurring testimonies encourage me to address him, and I feel 
a cowardly confidence in doing so, which would not support me 
in approaching a personal acquaintance. This I am very con- 
scious is a weak motive, but it originates in feelings of reserved 
f earfulness, which I cannot conquer, and (strange to say) I am 
sensible of less constraint in speaking on the subject to a stranger, 
whose eyes it will probably never be my lot to encounter, and 
who will soon lose the recollection of me, and my presump- 
tuous folly, if such indeed it should appear to him. With this 
professed unwillingness to attract notice, it must be to you, sir, 
justly a matter of surprise I should ever have conceived the 
idea of intruding on the public. It is even to myself marvel- 
lous; but strong motives, and I hope blameless ones, have de- 
cided me. 

A very sudden reverse of fortune, occasioned by the unfaith- 
ful conduct of a person who had acted as my guardian, threatens 
to deprive me of a house most dear to me from infancy. I am 
still struggling to retain it, and would, if possible, obtain from 
my own efforts some trifling pecuniary assistance, which, in its 
most limited extent, would be of temporary convenience to me, 
and might thus contribute to my grand desideratum, that of 
continuing to live where I have lived so happily. A stroke 
equally sudden, and far more tremendous than that which 
deprived me of fortune, took from me, a twelvemonth since, 
my only surviving parent a most beloved mother, the only 
and inseparable companion of my life, whose age and constitu- 
tion had afforded me reasonable hope that Grod would be pleased 
to spare to me till an advanced age the blessing of her society ; 
He willed otherwise, and I am now so far desolate in the world 
as to be connected with it by no filial or fraternal tie. I remain 
the solitary tenant of this beloved little dwelling, where every 
object, and tree, and shrub, has more than local interest for me, 


and the extent of my unambitious desire is to spend the remain- 
der of my days amongst them. 

Forgive me, sir, for intruding on your time and patience the 
insignificant concerns of an obscure stranger; but I am tempted 
to believe Mr. Southey will not listen with a stranger's ear to 
the real, though common, affliction of a fellow-being, and I 
hope that this short detail will enable him to appreciate the 
motives of my conduct. I am too conscious that my attainments 
and abilities are not such as would authorize a hope that any 
production of mine can be entitled to more than indulgence ; and 
indeed I sometimes fear, I almost suspect, that I have mistaken 
for natural taste a strong inclination for poetry, which has ruled 
me from childhood, possibly originating in the solitary reveries 
and pursuits incident to a very secluded life. I have never 
possessed the advantage of being acquainted with any person of 
literary habits ; I have never even had access to a tolerable 
library; my reading has been too trifling and desultory to pro- 
duce much good effect; and my life so stationary in this tame, 
though beautiful country, in a neighbourhood where the society, 
though large, is most uninteresting, that my imagination is 
probably coloured with these surrounding tints, and quite un- 
able to aspire at any delineation beyond that of the home 
scenes familiar to me from infancy. I fear, too, I may have 
been an innocent plagiarist ; for on looking over my manuscript 
many lines and expressions strike me as borrowed, which yet, 
when they were written, appeared to flow naturally from my 
pen ; but I cannot positively detect the thefts, if such they are, 
not having the authors to refer to from whence they now strike 
me as proceeding. 

And now what more can I say, but that I throw myself on 
your indulgence ? Be as charitable as you conscientiously can, 
and I shall be gratefully satisfied with your decision. My pre- 
tensions are so humble, that I have little to apprehend on the 
score of mortified vanity ; I should only have to shrink back 
into the obscurity from which I make a trembling effort to 
emerge. But I will tell you what most appals me : I shrink, 

B 2 


like the sensitive plant, from the touch of a cold answer, by 
which I mean, not one which should gently and kindly tell 
me, " Be advised : you have mistaken your vocation : tempt 
not the public scorn," but one that should reply far more 
chillingly, " I cannot possibly, Madam, accede to your re- 
quest ; I should be inundated with such were I to attend to 
them ; I beg leave to decline the office you assign to me." 
This is the repulse I should fear, were I addressing any other 
than Mr. Southey ; and, I will confess, my nature is not cast in 
such heroic mould as to encounter unshrinkingly the rebuke of 
such an answer from a quarter to which I had anxiously looked 
with the ardent but fearful hope of gaining to myself a friend. 
I dare not ask myself why I should hope to inspire such an 
interest, without any claims but those of misfortune. To such 
a question, my reason might return too cold an answer, and 
I would willingly indulge in the novelty of hope till certainty 
confirms or destroys it. 

At all events, I feel assured that Mr. Southey's .humanity 
and gentleness of heart will not suffer him to repulse contemp- 
tuously what his candour and judgment may oblige him to 
condemn. I will intrude on him no longer than to subscribe 
myself Mr. Southey's 

Most obedient Servant, 




KESWICK, May 28th, 1818. 

This day, and not till this day, did I receive your manu- 
script and the very interesting letter by which it was intro- 
duced. You will have expected to hear from me ere this, and 
I think I know how you will have thought and felt,' as a 


suspicion has arisen of something even less pardonable than 
the brutal sort of repulse which you have done me the justice 
not to anticipate. Parcels lie for me at Messrs. Longmans' till 
they have occasion to send to me ; they then travel by wagon, 
which, owing to the change of carriers, is a business of eighteen 
days, or sometimes three weeks. Your packet has been fortu- 
nate in not having been longer in Paternoster-row. 

I reply to your letter without the delay of a single post, 
and with sincere pleasure ; for though what I have to say may 
in some degree discourage hope, in all other respects it will 
correspond entirely to your wishes. The success of a poem," 
indeed of any composition whatsoever, does not depend upon 
its merit or less upon its merit than upon any other cause. 
Of the volumes of poetry which are published, not one in 
twenty perhaps I might say in fifty pays the expense of 
publication, though there is not one of the whole number 
which would not have excited attention and secured a remu- 
neration to the author had it been published thirty years ago. 
No persons, therefore, should risk the publication of a poem on 
their own account unless the sacrifice of the money so expended 
were a matter of indifference. For the same reason booksellers 
will not purchase poetry, unless from some writer who is in 
vogue. But I must not leave you here, without trying what 
can be done. The " Caroline Bowles, to whose very name and 
existence I was a stranger" this morning, cannot now be to me 
an "insignificant" person, one whom I shall soon forget, or by 
whom I would willingly be forgotten. 

Booksellers are not the most liberal, nor the most amiable 
of men. They are necessarily tradesmen; and a constant atten- 
tion to profit and loss is neither wholesome for the heart nor 
the understanding. Of those with whom I have any dealings, 
Murray is the one who would be least unlikely to risk the 
publication of your poem, and the most likely to make the 
publication answer. He would perhaps take the risk upon 
himself, and give you half the eventual profits. Shall I write 
to him upon the subject? Poor as these terms may appear, 


they are the best that I have ever obtained for myself. My 
recommendation ought to have some weight with him. 

I do not like such poems, because I am old enough to avoi'd 
all unnecessary pain. Real griefs do not lessen the suscepti- 
bility for fictitious ones, but they take away all desire for them. 
There is a great deal of beauty in it a womanly fluency, a 
womanly sweetness, a womanly truth and tenderness of feel- 
ing, which I have enough of my mother in me perfectly to 
understand. It is provoking to think that if the same powers 
had been displayed in prose instead of verse, in a novel instead 
of a poem, there would have been little or no doubt of finding a 
publisher; for let the supply of novels be what it will, the 
demand is sure to outrun it. 

Many years ago, I resided for a short time within ten miles 
of Lymington. I wish I were near enough now to see and 
converse with you. It is in planning a work that advice is 
useful ; a single remark may then induce an author to avoid a 
fault which cannot afterwards be got rid of by any . laborious 
correction. I do not mean to say that this poem has any such 
faults: a few verbal alterations are all I should suggest here, 
and a few omissions where they can be made without injury, 
chiefly for the sake of shortening it, because I foresee that its 
length will be a bookseller's objection. But to the point : if 
you think proper, I will write to Murray and ask him whether 
he will publish it ; this I would wish you to consider as ex- 
tremely doubtful; but if the application fails, it will not be 
for any want of warmth and sincerity in the recommendation 
And if it should fail, you must not be discouraged, but turn 
your thoughts to something else, in prose or verse, in which, if 
I can assist you by any advice, or direct you to any subjects 
which carry with them some attraction, I shall be very happy 
to show that you have not honoured with your confidence one 
who is unfeeling, and therefore unworthy of it. For the 
present farewell, and believe me, 

Yours, with sincere regard, 





BUCKLAND, June 3rd, 1818. 

No, indeed, you have not guessed how I have "thought and 
felt " respecting the length of time which has elapsed since I 
had the boldness to address you. I was aware of the proba- 
bility that it would be long before my packet reached you ; and 
I felt assured that when you did receive it, you would honour 
me with a reply, and a gentle one. It will appear a little 
incomprehensible to you if I confess that, with a mind im- 
pressed by this conviction, I anticipated your answer with 
unconquerable and increasing dread ; for, hardly had I sent off 
my manuscript, when I became panic-struck at my own daring, 
and after a very little time succeeded in convincing myself 
(greatly to the comfort of my feelings) that every line I had 
written was execrable, and that to obtrude such trash on your 
notice must appear to you the height of impertinence and 
folly. Under the influence of these pleasing after- thoughts, 
I endeavoured to console myself by reflecting, " Well ! I shall 
never see Mr. Southey, and he will very soon forget me and 
my nonsense." With such anticipations, you may guess how 
tremblingly I broke the seal of your letter; but you cannot 
guess (for you have never felt as I have felt) with what sensa- 
tions I read its contents ; I almost fancied I could discern in 
them the kind interest of a friend who cared for me, rather than 
the good-will of a stranger, and I want words to express my 
grateful feelings. Your indulgence to my little poem exceeds 
my most sanguine hopes; but I assure you, in sincerity of 
heart, I am more gratified by the tone of interest and bene- 
volence which characterizes your letter, than I should be by 
the public success of an attempt, the feebleness and imperfec- 
tion of which I am so sensible of. How altered are my feel- 
ings since yesterday ! I shall now deprecate the forget fulness 
which I then assured myself would soon shut me out from 


Mr. Southey's remembrance. He will live in mine till I 
become insensible to the charm of his writings, and (what is 
less possible) unmindful of the delicacy and feeling of his 
conduct towards me. 

As my hope of success was never brighter than a twilight 
gleam, I shall feel little disappointment if it should be totally 
dispelled. I foresee from your representation, and from the 
kindness with which you prepare me for the circumstance, that 
Murray will probably reject it ; and I am sensible its only 
chance of being accepted rests on your recommendation. And 
will you really condescend to recommend it ? How willingly I 
accept your offer! How thankfully I shall avail myself of 
your directions to alter or curtail, and how eager should I be to 
claim your future advice and the guidance of your judgment, 
if I felt a hope of being able to profit by it ; but I mistrust 
myself too entirely. Poor as are my powers of composition 
in verse, I should find it still more difficult to write in prose ; 
and for a novel ! I could as easily compose a .treatise on 
chemistry. See on what a feeble and poorly-gifted mind you 
would bestow the honour of your encouragement. If Murray 
rejects the manuscript, do me the last kind office of committing 
it to the flames : it will only be spoiled paper. 

I entirely agree with you : we need not create to ourselves 
fictitious griefs ; life has too many real sorrows ; but the mind 
recently afflicted colours everything with its own sadness. I 
wrote under such impressions, oppressed besides by the languor 
of a very trying nervous disorder. These circumstances may 
excuse me. Once, everything in life glowed with the bright- 
ness of my own feelings; but it was fit the painted vapour 
should be dispelled. Earth had too much of my affection, and 
when time has mellowed those shades of calamity, I may pro- 
bably regain some feelings of tempered enjoyment. Your 
letter has imparted to me the most pleasurable I have known 
for many a day. Such a heart as yours will not be insensible 
to the assurance. In what spot near Lymington did you reside 
some years ago? How much I wish you were indeed near 


enough for me to see and converse with you. Such a neigh- 
bourhood would give a new interest to my existence ; but I liVe 
in a desert, of which, however, my little house is still the green 
valley. If I indulge longer in such digressions, I shall forget 
how little I am authorized to weary your patience ; forgive me 
for having intruded on it so long, and believe me, 

Yours most gratefully, 



KESWICK, June 11th, 1818. 

I have just received Murray's reply, which is very much 
what might be expected. It is in these words: "I will have 
great pleasure in reading the lady's MS. poem, though unless it 
be very striking indeed it will not have the smallest chance of 
succeeding. I receive at least 500 poems every year, out of 
which I cannot venture to print six, and of these, not one half 
defray the expenses of publication." 

Times are very much changed in this country with regard 
to literature or perhaps I should rather say fashions are 
changed. A bookseller would formerly take the opinion of 
some man of letters, and be guided by his private and unbiassed 
judgment of the merits of the work. The trade are grown 
wiser now : they have discovered that the success of poetry does 
not depend upon its merit, but upon the humour of the season ; 
and they have discovered also, what is not less true, that, living 
upon the spot, and being dealers in the commodity, they them- 
selves are the best judges of what will take. 

If it were possible, I would read this poem with you, and 
explain, as we went through it, wherein any expression is faulty, 
and why any part or passage requires alteration. Generally 


speaking, women write letters better than men, and they write- 
novels better I do not mean as to the construction of the story, 
or the conception of the characters ; but their language is easier 
and happier; they express their feelings more readily, ancU- 
therefore more naturally ; and they write the real language of 
life when men would be thinking of fine composition, which has 
much the same effect upon a man's style as it would have upon 
his manners if he were always to be thinking of his clothes. 
But verse requires a precision both of thought and language- "' 
(very rarely indeed attained scarcely by two writers in a 
generation), to which women are less accustomed, and to which 
their education has not trained them. 

You have the eye, the ear, and the heart of a poetess^ 
What is wanting in you is that which I was twenty years in 
learning, and had hardly acquired when evening prospects and 
autumnal feelings unfitted me for what requires ardour, and 
an expenditure of spirits which I can no longer support with 
impunity. Competent criticism might most materially have 
abridged my course, but it was not my fortune to meet with 
it. Your poem deserves to be carefully corrected. I myself 
re-wrote two of my long poems, and a very considerable 
part of two others. The best passages of a poem are those- i 
which have been felicitously produced in the first glow of com- 
position ; but I have found in my own experience that those 
which have been inserted in place of something faulty have 
been next to them in merit. 

It was at Burton, near Christ Church, that I lodged first 
for one summer, and afterwards took a cottage, which, however, 
owing to ill health, I did not occupy long. Once more do not 
be discouraged. Tell me that you will correct your poem- 
valiantly, and if you will make up your mind by this resolu- 
tion, I will go through it severely, book by book. 

Farewell, and believe me, 

Yours faithfully, 



Miss Bowles, writing on July 16, 1818, from the Isle of 
"Wight, whither she had gone to recover health, gratefully ac- 
cepts Southey's offer to go over the poem with her, correcting 
its errors. Letters from Southey follow, containing a numher 
of minute criticisms, of which letters the second concludes 
thus : 

These remarks are not worth much in themselves ; but it is 
of some consequence to remove any grammatical inaccuracies, 
however slight, and it is of far more to impress upon a writer the 
necessity of adhering as strictly to sound sense in verse as vsf 
prose. For however brilliant a poem may be in parts, and how- 
ever popular it may be because of that brilliancy, if the poet, 
either from a false system, or from the want of system, writes 
nonsense, his works will inevitably be forgotten, or only remem- 
bered to his dispraise. The judgment : , therefore, must always^ 
be exercised in writing, and it is the last thing which a poet 
learns to exercise. The world may put up for a while with some- 
thing that looks like sense, if it be flashy or striking ; and thus 
it is that every age has had its favourites, whose reputation 
passes away like that of an actor or a beauty in high life, when 
anyone with equal pretensions comes forward. 

When you have revised the poem, send it to Murray, and, 
if you do not like that he should know your name and address, 
say in a note that you send for his inspection the poem concern- 
ing which I had written to him, and desire him to make known 
his determination concerning it to me. And then, if he chooses 
to print it, I will refer him to you. Whether he will or no, or 
what the reception of the poem may be, if he should, I cannot 
pretend to augur. The last thirty years have produced a great ^ 
change in these things. Even when I began to write, there 
was a fair field, and whoever appeared in it was sure to obtain 
notice. Now it is so crowded, that poems are entirely neglected 
which would then have been regarded with wonder and ap- 


Tell me also what you have written (for you must have 
written other things), and what you think of writing, if you 
have anything planned. A happy subject may attract atten- 
tion, and a word of advice respecting the plan may he worth 
fifty after it is executed. I wish you may be able also to tell 
me that your health is improved, and that with it your heart is 
recovering strength and genial feelings. 

Believe me, sincerely yours, 



BUCKLAKD, Sept. 21st, 1818. 

I thank you most gratefully for your two valuable letters ; 
it will be my own fault, or rather my misfortune, if the criti- 
cisms they contain are not most useful to me, lenient as they 
are, for you cauterize with a gentle hand. 

Yes I have written lots of other things since five years 
old, I think, or rather composed, for at that mature period my 
father used to write them for his spoiled child ; and I dare say 
my miscellaneous works would fill a decent volume, if they had 
been carefully rescued from the copy-books, drawing-books, 
and receipt-books, where I was wont to scribble them in all 
blank pages. Happily most of those sublime effusions have 
disappeared by degrees : out of the few remaining I venture to 
enclose one or two (I hardly know for what purpose, for they 
do not deserve your notice, and you did but ask me " if I had 
written other things"). I cannot resist my inclination to send 
you at the same time a little poem which fell into my hands a 
short time ago ; it appears to me to wear the stamp of no ordi- 
nary genius. 


I have nothing planned, and I have no courage to plan, for 
my stores of information are so scanty, and I have so little con- x 
fidence in my own taste and judgment, that I can hardly hope 
to select any attractive subject. One of your suggesting might 
perhaps inspire me with more confidence (or rather hope) of 
success, and from your abundance of ideas you may venture to 
supply the destitute. See what a bold beggar you have made 

I thank God my health is somewhat amended, and my feel- 
ings less dreary than they were. I am very grateful for your 
humane inquiry, and while I live I shall never forget your 
kindness to me, at a season when kindness and gentleness is 
most soothing to a wounded spirit. 

I remain, most truly yours, 


Availing myself of your permission, I will desire Murray to 
acquaint you with his awful fiat. 



KESWICK, March 18th, 1819. 

I wrote to Murray on the sixth of last month, to inquire 
the fate of your poem, and this day I have received an apology 
for not answering my letter till now, stating (which no doubt 
is the truth) that, not having answered it by return of post, it 
went out of his head. 

I feared what his reply would be, and from this long silence 
you will have anticipated it. These are his words: "The MS. 
poem is such as to do its author very great credit. But the 
fact is that no poetry, except your own and that of some four 


or five others, has the least chance of sale at present, and I 
am obliged to refrain." There is but too much truth in this. 
Poets who would have obtained universal applause thirty years 
ago cannot now obtain a hearing, however great the promise 
their works may contain, and the vilest trash will be received 
from one who, by fair means or foul, has obtained a reputation. 
As for the incivility of Murray's long delay, you must remem- 
ber that a great bookseller is a much greater man than the 
Prime Minister. 

I am sorry for this, and perhaps more disappointed than 
you will be. A local poem, such as I suggested in my last 
letter,* would have a better chance than one of any other kind, 
because it carries with it a local interest. The New Forest is, 
both in its history and scenery, a rich subject ; and with the 
help of prints a book might be made which would be bought by 
idlers at Lymington, Southampton, &c. ; booksellers must look 
to the sale of what they publish, and this is a kind of sale 
on which they can in some degree calculate. The Isle of Wight 
is not so extensive a subject ; but it would have the same advan- 
tage. The Forest, however, affords more scope, and would sup- 
ply matter for a very interesting poem, especially to one who 
has so many feelings connected with it as you needs must have. 
Have you ever accustomed yourself to write blank verse ? for 
that would be the most suitable metre. Think of this of the 
convents and castles within its ancient precincts of Winches- 
ter of William the Conqueror and William Eufus of its 
natural history, both as relating to vegetable and animal life 
of what you have seen and what you have felt there. Think of 
these things, and tell me what you think of them, and believe 

Yours faithfully, 


* In a letter of January 8, 1819, Southey had suggested " The New 
Forest" as the subject of a poem. 


From Clifton, Bristol, whither she had gone in search of 
health, Miss Bowles writes to Southey, on May 12, 181, 
informing him that Murray's adverse decision was not unex- 
pected ; assigning reasons for her not attempting a poem on the 
New Forest, as proposed by Southey; and expressing her desire 
to submit to him an unfinished poem in blank verse, embody- 
ing recollections of her earlier years the poem -afterwards pub- 
lished under the title of The Birthday. 


KESWICK, May 21st, 1819. 

I shall be in London, if no unforeseen circumstances occur 
to prevent me, in three or four weeks from this time ; and if you 
direct your manuscript to me, at Dr. Southey 's (my brother), 
15, Queen Anne-street, Cavendish- square, I shall find it there, 
sooner than it would find its way to Keswick through the book- 
seller's hands. I dare say you wrote blank verse your ear 
will lead you to the measure ; but if you should have written 
under any erroneous notion of its structure, it will be very easy 
to show you where you are wrong, and what you have to cor- 

Bristol is my native place, and the first imagery which I 
ever drew from nature was from the rocks and woods about 
Clifton. There was (and probably still is), not far from Cook's 
Folly, a horse-block upon the Down, close to the vale a point 
from whence a stranger looks down upon the river and the 
opposite woods ; immediately under that horse-block is a little 
cave, overhung with ivy, the access to which I should probably 


find difficult now; but, when I was between fifteen and eighteen, 
many and many are the verses which I wrote in that cave. 
One of my schoolfellows seemed at that time to have an incli- 
nation for poetry almost as decided as my own we called our- 
selves Nisus and Euryalus, and the former of these names I 
cut in the rock, where I used to take my seat. 

One thing before I conclude. An old friend of mine, for 
whom I have a great regard and affection, lives (I believe) 
within a few doors of your present abode. His name is King, 
he is by profession a surgeon, by birth a Swiss, and his wife, 
a sister of Miss Edge worth. If you would like to have an 
acquaintance who would be desirous of rendering you any ser- 
vice in his power, let me know, and I will write to him that he 
may call upon you, and introduce himself as my friend. He is 
a man of great goodness and extraordinary talents. 

Farewell, and believe me, 

Yours faithfully, 



KESWICK, November 20th, 1819. 

Yesterday evening a friend brought me your manuscript,* 
which had so long been lying in Queen Anne-street. I read it 
this morning, and will rather despatch a hasty letter than let a 
post elapse without telling you of its arrival, and exhorting you, 
by all means, to proceed with the poem. It is in a very sweet 
strain ; go on with it, and you will produce something which 
may hold a permanent place in English literature. As you go 

* The manuscript of Caroline Bowles's autobiographical poem " The 


on, you will feel what passages are feeble and require to Ipe 
shortened or expunged there is very little that stands in need 
of this. The flow of verse is natural, and the language uncon- 
strained both as they should be. Everybody will recognize 
the truth of the feeling which produces it, and there is a charm 
in the pictures, the imagery, and the expression, which cannot 
fail to be felt. 

I made a long tour in Scotland, of several weeks. I saw a 
great deal that is fine, and a great deal that is in a high degree 
beautiful ; but the general character of the Highlands is severe 
and mournful, and the impression upon me when I returned 
was, that these lakes gain as much by a comparison with the 
Scotch, as they lose when compared with the Swiss and Italian. 

I intend to be in London as soon as my " Life of Wesley " 
is finished, which will be in the beginning of February. Shall 
I keep your poem till I can carry it so far on its way? I am 
too busy at present to say more; only understand these hurried 
lines as encouraging you in the strongest and most unequi- 
vocal manner to proceed. 

Yours, very truly, 




BTJCKLAKD, January 21s, 1820. 

I have so often been guilty of replying to your letters with 
indiscreet haste, that in the present case I think myself rather 
entitled to commendation for leaving your last so long unan- 
swered; but discretion has its limits, and shall restrain me no 
longer from thanking you for the kind approbation you were 
pleased to bestow on the MS. fragment I sent you last sum- 


Encouraged thus by you, I cannot but proceed with it, and 
indeed the subject is such as I should be loath to leave, if only 
for the sake of the gratification I experience in giving some- 
thing of durability to circumstances, scenes, and images long 
past, and now obliterated, except from my recollection. But 
the very interest which almost compels me to write, incapaci- 
tates me from judging fairly of what I write, for those pas- 
sages on which I have dwelt with peculiar pleasure may, in 
fact, be tedious and feeble in the opinion of a cool observer. I 
wish, therefore, that when you read the MS. you had drawn 
your pen unsparingly through such parts as appeared to you 
most objectionable ; but at all events I will endeavour to weed 
and prune it, when I transcribe that first copy, which I can 
wait for very patiently, till you take it to town, as you kindly 
offer to do, in February. There is a chance just a chance 
that I may be in London about that season, on my way (a very 
circuitous one) to Worcestershire. I look forward with appre- 
hension to that possibility, for no pleasant business awaits me 
in the great city ; but I should be in some measure reconciled 
to the painful cause which may draw me there, could I hope 
then to become personally acquainted with Mr. Southey. 

I heard it said that the article in the Quarterly Review for 
August, relating to the Catacombs, was written by you. The 
brief account of Herbert Knowles particularly interested me; 
what an incorrect history of him was that I had obtained, 
and with which I favoured you so officiously ! but I am perpe- 
tually finding out (when too late) that I have said or written 
something foolish or impertinent, a reflection which very natu- 
rally suggests to me that it is high time to conclude my letter. 

I remain most truly yours, 




CHELSEA, June 1th, 1820. 

I should hardly presume to request Mr. Southey's accept- 
ance of the insignificant little volume which accompanies this 
letter, had I any better means of testifying my grateful sense 
of his various kindnesses to me. As it is, I offer it with the 
thankful acknowledgment that, faulty as the poem still is, 
it would have been much more so but for Mr. Southey's advice 
and critical remarks. Last, but not least, let me thank you, 
my dear sir, more intelligibly at least than I could do viva voce, 
for your goodness in coming to see me at this place : to confess 
the truth, I derive more pleasure from the reflection that I am 
become personally acquainted with you than I did at the actual 
making of that acquaintance, for then I found that all I had 
meant and wished to say was clean vanished, and that I had 
only your charity (and penetration perhaps) to trust to for not 
setting me down as an unthankful and insensible idiot. It is 
not with me that " out of the abundance of the heart the mouth 

I leave town in a few days, and I shall give directions that 
this parcel may be sent to Keswick in a fortnight, by which 
time you also, I suppose, will have returned to your dear 

I have not forgotten that Mr. Southey promised to write to 
me thence ; I hope he has not forgotten it. You will see that 
Messrs. Longman have thought it expedient to christen my 
poem "Ellen Fitzarthur": they said the other name was too 
pastoral, and I cared little about the title, so Miss Fitz is their 

Believe me, 

My dear sir, 
Most thankfully and truly yours, 

c 2 




KESWICK, February 132A, 1821. 

I thank you for your book and your drawing. They 
arrived this evening. I have been intending and intending 
to write to you ever since my return home in July, and more 
especially since I got your poem in November, to have told 
you then how well I liked it in print, and how much it was 
admired by the reading part of my family. But you know 
what becomes of good intentions the devil is said to pave his 
dominions with them, and, if it be so, I have furnished him 
with as many materials as most men. My excuse must be 
not so much the number of my own employments as the nume- 
rous interruptions to which I am liable, during part of the 
year, from unexpected visitors, and all the year long from 
persons at a distance who, with or without reason, write to me 
upon all imaginable and unimaginable subjects : one man, for 
instance, requests an acrostic for his mistress, and another con- 
sults me upon a scheme for paying off the national debt. My 
collection of such letters is not a little curious. The evil is, that 
in replying to them, either for the sake of getting rid of the 
application, or in mere courtesy, or in the kinder mood which 
those of a better kind excite, things which I ought and designed 
to do are left undone, time passes over, and the arrears become 
like a prodigal's debts, irksome to remember, because they are 
too heavy to be cleared off. 

I wish I could have seen you again at Chelsea ; but my very 
minutes were numbered while I was in and about London, nor 
did I ever feel anything like a sense of rest from the time I 
entered it till I got into the mail-coach on my return. I heard 
of you once from Dr. Thomas, who is an old friend of my 
family. I saw such an account of your poems as it was grati- 
fying to see in the New Monthly Magazine, and I did what I 


could to recommend it for such notice as it deserved in another 
quarter, where the will must be taken for the deed. 

Your stanzas upon the King's death are very good, both in 
thought, feeling, and expression. So are the lines upon the 
Proclamation. I do not see anything to censure. Go on with 
your blank- verse poem : if I am not deceived, the subject will 
secure for it a favourable acceptance, relating as it does to feel- 
ings which will find sympathy in every kind heart. I need 
not tell you that when you read contemporary poets the best 
thing you can learn from them is to avoid their peculiarities, 
and their mannerisms, and their affectations in one word, their 
faults ; but you are in no danger of catching them. 

I am publishing an experimental poem,* which Longman 
will send you as soon as it comes forth in the course of a fort- 
night probably. It is written in hexameters, the heroic measure 
of the ancients. Do not trouble yourself with the explanation 
of its principle in the preface, but read it as you would verse of 
any other kind, and you will soon feel and find the rhythm. 
The subject is the late King's death ; considering that I might 
be expected, as a matter of duty, to write upon it, I chose to 
do it in this form. 

You and I must be better acquainted personally ; you must 
become acquainted with my wife and daughter. Our spare 
room will be filled this summer ; but next year we shall be 
very glad if you will let us show you this neighbourhood, if 
we may dare to look on so long ! 

Farewell, and believe me, 

Yours very truly, 


A Vision of Judgment." 



February Uth, 1821. 

I forgot, when writing yesterday, to thank you for the 
drawing, and for the feeling which induced you to send it. 
I know the spot well, and the poplar tree ; but among the 
nearest buildings are some high, tower-like chimneys, which 
look as if they belonged to a manufactory, and which, I think, 
have been erected since my time. For my recollections of 
Bristol are in the eighteenth year of their age a large part 
of human life ! Were I to visit that city now I should walk 
its streets like a stranger, and scarcely meet one person whom 
I remembered or who would remember me. When my poem 
reaches you, you will see that I do not think of Bristol without 
a natural feeling. 

I please myself in thinking what pleasure you will have in 
sketching here, where, if you have never been fairly in a moun- 
tainous country, you will feel yourself almost in a new world. 

Yours very truly, 



BUCKLAND, March 16th, 1821. 

The blank verse poem with which you encourage me to 
proceed has extended itself to twice the length of what you 
read; but the calm current of thought necessary to the con- 
tinuance of such a subject has been violently broken in on with 


me this winter first, by a very serious alarm (a fire which 
burst out after dark in my lonely little dwelling), and subse- 
quently by a low fever, which unstrung my nerves and unfitted 
me for everything. During the last month I have amused 
myself by collecting and arranging various little tales and 
scraps composed within the last two years. These I am about 
to offer to Longman, and, if he will take them, shall be well 
satisfied with the transient interest and employment of thought 
the publication will afford me (a harmless interest, I hope, if 
not a wise one), without looking or hoping much further. 
Longman, however, may be of a very different opinion, and 
not choose to print solely with a view to my amusement. 

You hold out to me a gilded bait yet not so a delightful 
hope I should call it if I dared look on to next year, next 
summer. To visit you in your own world of lakes and moun- 
tains ! to become really acquainted with you, with your family ! 
How I should long for such pleasure, if I had not almost left 
off longing for anything, if I dared look forward beyond the 
springing up or flowering of the annuals I am now sowing in 
my little flower-garden. Sometimes, in a sunshiny mood of 
the mind, I say to myself, " "Well, but who knows ? perhaps " 
and then I stop, and the wide interval of time and distance 
spreads drearily before me, not impassably, however, and I will 
hope for once. 

Is there any chance of your being in town this spring ? I 
must be there malgrd, bon gre, but have nothing agreeable 
in anticipation, except a sight of Haydon's picture. Surely 
you, who have half a hundred other works in the press, must 
have business in London. 

Accept my grateful thanks, and believe me, 

Very sincerely yours, 




KESWICK, February 9th, 1822. 

Thank you for your little volume:* I received it yesterday 
evening. It was with pleasure that I saw it advertised, and 
with more pleasure that I saw it turn up among the contents of 
a heavy parcel. Have I perused it with pleasure ? Both with 
as much pleasure and as much pain as you have wished to 
excite. And whether most to find fault with you for choosing 
such deeply tragic subjects, or to praise you for the manner in 
which you have treated them, I know not. 

For the execution, it is not too much to say that you have 
become such a poetess as I believed and hoped from the first. 
You have the ear and the eye and the heart of poetry, and you 
have them in perfection. Had this volume appeared thirty 
years ago, England would have rung from side to side with its 
praises. And gay as the flower-market now is, take my word 
for it, it will flourish when all the annuals of the season have 

William and Jean would, to my judgment, have made two 
poems with advantage. The picture is like all your pictures 
true and finely coloured by itself; but it is too cheerful, too 
happy, for the tale which follows. Your tragedy is always in 
the right tone, having with it the true and only balm. Yet it 
is too painful. I feel it to be so, and in this respect I may 
judge of others by myself. We are less able to bear these 
emotions as we advance in years. Youth courts them, because 
youth has happiness, as well as health and spirits, in excess. 
But at my time of life tranquillity is the treasure of the mind, 
and, if it must be broken, more willingly would I have it done 

* " The Widow's Tale, and other Poems." 


"by comedy or farce, that makes the sides ache, than by anything 
which exacts a heartache for imaginary distress, especially with 
such possible and actual scenes as that of your Editha per- 
haps the more painful to me because I have a daughter of that 

Give us, I entreat you, a picture in summer and sunshine 
a tale that in its progress and termination shall answer to the 
wishes of the reader. Make the creatures of your imagination 
as happy as you would make them if they were real beings, 
whose fortunes depended upon your will ; your poem will then 
be read again and again with delight. You will please more 
readers, and please them more. It is a road to popular favour 
which has not been tried in this country, and it is a sure one. 
Goethe and Yoss have found it so in Germany ; and I speak 
sincerely when I express my belief that you can produce as fine 
a poem as the " Hermann and Dorothea," or the " Luise." 

It is better for yourself, too, to dwell upon happier themes ;" 
you have no such exuberance of health and spirits that you can 
afford with impunity to shed so many tears as these poems must 
have cost you. 

I must not forget to mention the " Sea of Life," which is 
throughout in a fine tone, both of feeling and versification. In 
p. 95, you should have written " ignes fatui" ; but marsh-fires 
would be better, if the word marshes did not occur in the next 

And now let me ask how you are ? That you are in 
the sure way to reputation, and that of no mean degree or 
transitory kind, you must yourself know ; and that feeling will 
encourage you in a forward pursuit. I think you are right in 
withholding your name. There is an advantage in exciting 
curiosity ; and sometimes a comfort in privacy, which one is 
not sensible of till it is lost. 

I shall send you my " Book of the Church " as soon as it is 
published. You will go with it in feeling, and find in it, I 
think, something that will interest you. But do not wait for 
it to let me hear from you, for it will not be ready in less than 


three or four months. I am fastened to my desk by many 
employments ; but well both in myself and in my family (God 
be thanked), and no ways disturbed by such enemies as Lord 
Byron. God bless you. 

Yours faithfully, 



KESWICK, July 7, 1822. 

I have just received a letter from Bowles, in which he says : 
" You mention my namesake, Caroline. If you write, do- 
make my warmest congratulations known to her. Have I read 
' Ellen Fitzarthur ' ? There was only one copy .in Bath ; 
no one read a word of it ; no one thought of buying it ; no 
one spoke of it. I was the first in this neighbourhood to bring 
it into notice. I spoke to everyone with the utmost warmth of 
it, as deeply affecting in story, and beautiful in genuine lan- 
guage of poetry. I trumpeted it to Lord and Lady Lans- 
downe, Miss Fox, and all the literati of Bowood ; and, without 
knowing the name, I flatter myself I contributed in some 
degeee to its more general notice among some distinguished 
ornaments of taste and literature. I should be happy to know 
Caroline, and more to think her a relation. I think a poeiu so 
remote from the golden-silvery-diamond-alabaster-Pontypool- 
style of the present Cockney race of dandy poetasters cannot 
be too much noticed; and I am rejoiced the real touches o 
nature and passion have awakened attention." 

Thus far Bowles, and in a postscript he adds, " I think 
I shall write a note to Caroline, with my poem." 

If authorship in its notoriety brings with it some evils, they 
are overpaid where there is desert by a large portion of good. 


I owe to it not merely many pleasant acquaintances, but some 
valuable friends, and you will reap the same fruits. My ques x - 
tion to Bowles was concerning your last volume, as well as 
" Ellen Fitzarthur " ; if he has not seen it, he will look for 
it now, and he will find there all that he found in the former 
publication, and more, I have shown it to many persons, and 
in no one instance have I been disappointed of seeing it pro- 
duce the effect which I expected. 

I have a friend* with me now whom I have not seen since 
we parted at College, eight-and-twenty years ago, though our 
occasional communication by letter had never been interrupted. 
We parted just as we were commencing men, with the world 
before us ; and we meet just at that time of life when age and 
decay are beginning to make themselves felt. You can better 
feel what the feelings of such a meeting are than I could ex- 
press them. I should not have recognized him, so much is he 
changed : he says he should have known me anywhere. We 
have been comparing notes, and find our hearts and views just 
as much in unison as they were when we literally lived together 
at College; for we breakfasted together every morning, read 
together, and passed every evening together. In this respect 
I have been peculiarly fortunate, that most of my friendships 
have been formed for eternity, and grown stronger as they 
have grown older. 

There is a very bad translation of "Hermann and Doro- 
thea," by Holcroft, but it would show you the plan of the 
poem. The original, I am told, is a finished piece of versifi- 
cation; the translation is meant for blank verse, by a man 
who was no poet, and did not understand the common rules of 

You mention Shelley: I should like to show you some' 
letters which passed between that wretched man and me about 
two years ago. He came to this place with his wife imme- 
diately after his marriage ; I saw a good deal of him then, and 

* Lightfoot. 


hoped that he would outgrow the insane opinions which had 
their root, as I then thought, in mere ignorance, not in a cor- 
rupted heart and will. And I know a great deal of his ac- 
cursed history since. 

How are you ? and what are you doing ? I have been very 
much out of order. A cold, which comes regularly every year 
with the summer, and continues ten or twelve weeks, has this 
year attacked my chest ; and, though materially better, I can- 
not yet say that it is fairly dislodged. I shall soon have a 
volume of the " Peninsular War " abroad ; a noble story, whichr" 
will set foul tongues railing, while it makes sound hearts throb 
with generous emotions. My " Book of the Church " will 
speedily follow it. 

God bless you, sister-poetess. I have a right to call you 
so, though I cannot look for a relationship, like Bowles. 

Yours truly, 




BUCKLAND, July nth, 1822. 

I was much gratified by the passage you were so good as to 
communicate to me from Mr. Bowles's letter. Could I fail to 
be so at such encomiums from one so gifted ? But the kind- 
ness of heart which impelled you to impart so promptly what 
you knew would give pleasure, that I felt most sensibly, for in 
truth I need it most. 

The volume you half announced to me arrived shortly after 
your letter. I write by to-day's post to thank the author for 
his valuable and valued gift ; but I have charged him with the 
fact of rejecting me as a kinswoman in days of yore, when I 


an aspiring little damsel was fain to claim relationship with 
the author of the " Sonnet s." 

Even as I wrote that jesting reproach, the thought came to 
my mind, " How different a creature I might have been, of 
how much better things I might have been capable, had my 
earlier path in life been gilded with that degree of encourage- 
ment which now falls upon me now, when my days on earth 
seem so nearly numbered." Yes, I have been very ill, with 
repeated attacks in the head, each succeeding one increasing in 
seriousness and continuance, and yielding only to such violent 
remedies as shake almost to dissolution the fragile frame, at 
least, seemingly not built up for duration. This affection of 
the head is, I am told, more symptomatic of general debility, 
and consequent derangement of the nervous system, than in 
itself a primary complaint ; but it is not on that account the 
less terrible to endure. I had almost said it is worse than 
pain ; but that would be a thankless, a presumptuous assertion, 
when He who knoweth best what is best for me is pleased to 
exempt me from severe suffering. It is an almost total loss of 
memory, a confusion of ideas, a deprivation of all comprehen- 
sive power, with such a darkness of spirit as would, indeed, 
"turn my day into night," were it not for the one heavenly 
ray that pierceth all darkness. All this comes upon me, 
accompanied by an apprehensive weight and giddiness that, 
while it lasts, incapacitates me for all mental and bodily exer- 
tion, and the least attempt at the latter so accelerates the pulsa- 
tion of the heart as to make every throb dreadfully distressing. 
So long an answer must I give to your simple question, " How 
are you?" 

It is scarce necessary, in reply to your other question, to 
add, that I am about nothing. When the dark hour is on me, 
I can hardly see, hear, or understand ; when it passes away, for 
a few days, a week, or fortnight, I enjoy the mere feeling of 
unopprest existence so exquisitely, that freely to breathe the 
blessed air, steadily to gaze on the fleet clouds and waving 
branches, to tread firmly on the earth, to comprehend what I 


read and hear, is enough for me, and I am too happy to be 
a very idler. And then I dare not look forward to better 
things, lest the anticipation of evil to come should follow in 
the train of thought, and cloud my little moment of sunshine. 
I have but too much reason for sad anticipation. My father 
I recollect to have been affected as I am. I recollect the dread- 
ful intervals of gloom that came upon him, lasting for weeks, 
for months, and finally terminating in fits that wore away his 
mental power, and left only the bodily wreck to be dissolved 
by a paralytic seizure. I recollect, too, how often he used to 
look mournfully on me (always a little nervous, delicate crea- 
ture), and say " My poor child, you resemble me too much in 
all things." When those words were spoken, I wondered at 
them; now they are but too intelligible to me. It is a piti- 
able weakness, I feel, to reveal to you so gloomy a picture; 
but in doing so I relieve a very heavy heart, and yours is 
not one that will turn away in contempt and weariness from 
the sorrow and infirmities of poor human nature. Now and 
then, during a sunny interval (and, thank God, the natural 
brightness of my spirit still shines out at such times), I com- 
pose a few scraps of verse or prose, most of which remain 
incomplete, and a few find their way to Blackwood all idle 

nothings. If I should live and get better, ; but (rod's 

will be done ! 

I wish (what signifies a hundred or two more miles when 
one sets about wishing) that there were a chance of your re- 
visiting Hampshire. I should have a neat, quiet chamber at 
your service and Mrs. Southey's a homely but most sincere 
welcome and you are not a person to think scorn of such 
things. I do not like to think we shall meet no more in this 

Grod bless you in your health, in your family, in your 
undertakings. Claim kindred with me as you will, I will 
gratefully admit the title. 

Ever yours truly, 



Do you know (how should you) that in a soi disant literary 
circle poor " Ellen Fitzarthur " has been claimed by a gentle- 
man as "the work of his particular friend Mrs. Hayman"? 
He was " authorized to say so." Much good may it do them. 
I never saw this man, who writes, I believe, for some periodical 
work, and was joint editor of one ; but I suspect I offended him 
once by declining the honour of his proffered acquaintance. 
He does me too much honour now. Shall you contribute to 
Joanna Baillie's projected miscellany ? I popped upon you the 
other day unexpectedly in a volume of Hogg's works. 


BUCKLAND, August Qth, 1822. 

I have just finished the first volume of a very mischievous 
book, which, however, as far as I can judge, carries its own 
antidote along with it. I allude to O'Meara's " Yoice from 
St. Helena." Were I a worshipper of Buonaparte, bitterly 
should I accuse the rashness which has torn away the veil 
from that gigantic idol, and exposed the inherent weakness 
of its composition. Present and future generations must call 
Napoleon an extraordinary man ; but will any rational crea- 
ture, after reading O'Meara's book, affirm that he is a great 
one? The downfall of his huge fabric of ambition, the de- 
struction of his armies, the loss of empire, all seem to have 
affected him but in a trifling degree, in comparison with the 
restraints and inconveniences incident to his captive state. He 
would have preferred, one could almost persuade oneself, one 
petty triumph over Sir Hudson Lowe to a victory over the 
Duke of Wellington and all the armies of Europe. But that 
Sir Hudson ! he was a true gaoler something, in truth, of 


a " Sbirro Siciliano," harassed and teased to death, no doubt, 
by the humours and intrigues of the Longwood captive and 
his motley court; but still he had no command over his own 
temper, and seems, indeed, to have been wanting to himself 
as a gentleman and an officer. Buonaparte, in one of his 
conversations with O'Meara, endeavours to refute one of the 
stories which had gone abroad of him in his early youth 
the seduction and poisoning of a young girl, while he was a 
student in his first pension. I am well acquainted with a 
French officer, a Baron de Gomer, who was a fellow-student 
of Napoleon's at the same college, and remembers every par- 
ticular of that horrible affair, in which the young Corsican 
was as guilty as he is said to have been. First, before that 
flagitious act, he had committed one less glaringly atrocious, 
indeed, but equally indicative of a cold and callous nature. 
He had no friend at college but a dog, who shared his meals 
and his bed, and on whom all the human kindness of his 
nature seemed to expend itself. This dog stole . one day a 
piece of cake which Napoleon had laid aside for a future re- 
gale. He caught the animal in the act, but did not even 
disturb his proceedings, nor further notice the step than by 
saying, Ah ha, mon ami, tu me paiera cela. Young De Gomer, 
with some others of his comrades, saw the transaction, and won- 
dered at Napoleon's indifference, but were almost transis d'hor- 
reur, when, on passing through the courts the next morning, 
they found the poor dog tied up, still living, against a tree, 
and Napoleon very deliberately employed in flaying off his 
skin. On seeing their horror and astonishment, he only smil- 
ingly observed, J'ai bien dit qu'il me le paierait. The person 
who told me these anecdotes is a man of unimpeachable vera- 

Very truly yours, 




BUCKLED, October 18th, 1823. 

The first feeling that with me, and with most persons, I 
should think, succeeds the painful one of parting from a friend 
is an impatient inclination to write to him, and if I had 
obeyed that impulse you would have heard from me from 
Ambleside. But sometimes (not always) sober afterthought 
restrains these foolish impulses of mine, and so you were de- 
prived of the very interesting information that I was sitting 
all forlorn in a dull inn room, regretting Keswick with all 
my heart, and prevented by an incessant pouring rain from 
exploring, as I had hoped, some of the lovely scenery about 
Bydal and Grrasmere. Nay, so pensive is my temper, every 
hour which diminished my chance of visiting Rydal Mount 
increased my inclination to deliver there the ticket with which 
you had provided me, though the evening before I had felt 
as if such daring would be utterly impossible. Just as we 
reached Eydal that evening, Mr. Wordsworth himself, and 
all his family I believe, came to meet the coach, and waited 
long beside it, while some parcel they were in expectation 
of was searched for, during all which time I very wisely 
shrunk back in my corner, instead of bowing to Mr. Words- 
worth, as I ought to have done, having been introduced to 
him in your house. Hoping, hoping, hour after hour, that 
the sun might shine upon me for a brief interval, I stayed on 
at the inn till Saturday evening, and then, yielding to my 
fate, came on to Kendal. It was growing dusk when I left 
Ambleside, and just as I lost sight of its grey walls and 
roofs, when the black ridges of the mountains (the gates of 
your Eden) seemed closing upon me, very vivid flashes of 
lightning streamed up from behind them, succeeded by some 
loud thunder-claps. At Keswick you know I had been long- 
ing to hear the sound of thunder amongst the mountains ; 


but on leaving your happy valleys I almost fancied "Come 
no more" was audible to me in those solemn reverberations. 
My homeward journey was safe, and as little disagree- 
able as possible, considering the circumstance of finding no 
coach ready to start for Leeds obliged me once more to tra- 
verse the country of the " Yahoos," and to rest in their un- 
holy habitations. Tuesday night brought me safe to beautiful 
Oxford ; and on Wednesday evening I stepped once more over 
the threshold of my quiet little home, and was welcomed by 
my dear old nurse, with such a welcome as those only can 
bestow to whom we are objects of exclusive affection. 

Dog, cats, and poney, all in their several fashions, testi- 
fied great joy at sight of me, and my old woman half in- 
sinuated that the very flowers some of them had put off 
blowing till my return. I got over the fatigue of the jour- 
ney marvellously, considering that, from the time I left Kes- 
wick till last night, I never obtained one hour's quiet sleep, 
such a wakeful restless spirit sometimes possesses me. Till 
to-day I have been unable to reach the town and bank, con- 
sequently, to forward to you one half of the note for the 
loan of which I am indebted to your kind consideration. It 
did me good service, for part of my travelling exchequer was 
in old-fashioned guineas, and the people at the inns, &c., 
demurred about their weight and value, while your Bank of 
England was a passe partout. The note I expected at Kes- 
wick has not been forwarded thither, so, according to your 
direction, I forward the first payment of my debt, much 
rejoicing that your acknowledgement of it (which I am to 
await before I transmit the other half) will insure me the 
pleasure of soon hearing from you. 

I have been amongst you to-day, enjoying with redoubled 
zest what I once thought nothing could increase my delight 
in the introduction to your " Poet's Pilgrimage." How often 
I shall be in spirit in the midst of you, and revisiting with you 
some of those enchanting spots to which you were my con- 
ductor. To each and every member of your happy circle I 
send greeting warm and grateful ; in particular, pray offer 


my best regards and thanks to Mrs. Southey. Tell Cuthbert 
my peerless Donna sends health to the magnificent B-umpel 
"that terrible cat with the terrible name," far more unpro- 
nouncable than Tchitchigoff. 

Pray convey a few more remembrances from me to the 
Ladies of the Lakes, if they are still sojourning amongst 
you. Amongst a thousand things I should like to learn of 
you alas ! unteachable things is the art of saying much in 
few words ; but I suppose a woman's ink is like her volu- 

" A stream that murmuring flows, and flows for ever." 

Hardly a drop of rain have I seen since I left Westmore- 
land. I had almost said " how provoking." Selfish crea- 
ture that I am not dissatisfied, however, for I saw and 
enjoyed much, very much; and had I not done so, to have 
become acquainted with your family, and more thoroughly 
with yourself, would have made me ample amends ; may I not 
say, to have acquired the privilege of calling you friend? 

Most gratefully and truly yours, 


How much I am surprised and mortified at that intem- 
perate and unfair letter addressed to you in The London by 
my old favourite Elia ! I little suspected such gall and worm- 
wood entered into the composition of one whose gentle nature 
seemed to me so greatly to assimilate with that of Izaac Wal- 
ton. But his anger is intemperate, because it is causeless ; 
and I can almost see that in his heart he is ashamed of the 
pair whose cause he espouses so warmly. 



KESWICK, October 22nd, 1823. 

Thank you for following my directions in halving the note ; 
I shall gain by it another letter ; and yet the advice was given 
in sober prudence, and not with that selfish purpose. I am 
heartily glad that you have reached home safely, and with so 
few disagreeables on the way, that the fear of such a journey 
will not stand in the way of your repeating it ; for I will not 
believe that you have taken leave of these mountains for ever. 
You must not talk of sunset pleasures yet. Your evening is 
far distant ; and many such pleasures as this country can 
afford (they are not light ones) are in store, I hope, both for 
you and for me. If you are half as desirous of partaking 
them again as I am that you should do so, the difficulties in the 
way will only be thought of with the view of overcoming 
them. Whatever we may think of dreams, you will allow 
that day-dreams may have some truth in them, and you have 
borne no small part in mine since your departure. These at 
least may bring about their accomplishment. 

On the day you reached Oxford we effected our Watenlath 
excursion. Go whither I will among these lakes and moun- 
tains, I have more ghosts than Sir Thomas More to accompany 
me ; there is scarcely a spot but brings with it some indelible 
recollection of those whom I have loved and lost. But the 
predominant feeling on this day was regret that you were not 
with us. Since then I have been close at work, preparing for 
my departure, and yet, after all, I must take with me work to 
finish at Streatham. We set out on Monday, November 3rd. 
Edith and I shall leave the Ladies of the Island at Derby, and 
go to Sir George Beaumont's, at Cole-Orton, near Ashby-de-la- 
Zouch, for two or three days : probably we shall reach London 
on the 15th. From thence you shall hear of my movements. 
I have a wide way to travel, and the sunniest spot in the 
prospect is the New Forest. 


Lamb's letter I have not seen, and your account of it is the 
first intimation which I have received of its temper. It will 
not disturb mine. I am sorry that he should have acted thus 
rashly and unreasonably ; but no infirmity of mind on his part 
shall make me act or feel unkindly towards one whose sterling 
goodness I respect as much as I admire his genius. If the 
matter of the letter requires answer or explanation from me, I 
shall probably give it at the end of the Quarterly Review, as the 
writer of the article. Anything personal, if I notice it at all, I 
shall notice privately by letter. You can hardly imagine how 
inirritable I am to any attacks through the press. When I 
have taken occasion to handle Jeffrey, or found it necessary to 
take up the pen against Lord Byron, it has been more with a 
feeling of strength than of anger, something like Eumpelstilz- 
chen feels when he lays his paw upon a rat. 

Cuthbert desires me to tell you that that worthy cat (who. 
has recently been created a marquis) is very well, only that he 
has a little cough ; and, moreover, that he has shown an im- 
proper liking for cream cheese. There is a rival of his, an 
interloper named Hurleburlebuss, who prowls about the house, 
and we are sometimes awakened by their nightly encounters. 

I am charged also to send Bumpel's love to Donna, and 
Cuthbert's to you. There are remembrances, moreover, from 
each and all of my womankind, with all of whom you have left 
such an impression as you would desire to leave. For myself 
but I must have done, for time presses, and the maid is waiting 
for my dispatches. 

At present, therefore, I will say no more than, 

Dear friend, farewell. 





BUCKLAND, October Nth, 1823. 

I have had a rude welcome home. The very night after I 
wrote to you my little lonely dwelling was heset by a complete 
gang of thieves, whose attack was, however, fortunately con- 
fined to the out-premises; there they made unsparing havoc, 
tearing down and taking away (in a cart brought for the 
purpose) everything at all portable harness, tools, lead- work, 
&c., and what they could not carry off they broke or cut to 
pieces. So well aware were these depredators of the weakness 
of the garrison, that they by no means constrained themselves 
to do their work in silence ; for, about 12 o'clock, I distinctly 
heard many voices of persons round the house. Like a fool, 
however, I lay still and went to sleep, instead of giving the 
alarm to my old German, the report of whose musket out of 
window might have scared away the robbers; but I am so 
accustomed to hear the nocturnal disturbances occasioned by 
smugglers and poachers, and have so often needlessly awakened 
the family, that this once the wolf came and robbed my fold in 
good earnest. 

This is not to me the worst part of the disaster, though my 
loss so far is not inconsiderable ; but the whole neighbourhood, 
having been lately kept in a state of alarm from the depreda- 
tions of this gang, and just fears being entertained that as 
winter drew on they would not stop at out-door robbery, the 
police set to work in the present case with such prompt activity 
as to ferret out four of the ringleaders, one only of whom, how- 
ever, they succeeded in securing, with just enough of my pro- 
perty in his possession to fix on me the necessity of prosecution, 
and that for a capital offence, they having broken open doors 
and windows. So one man is sent to Winchester, to take his 
trial at the assizes in March, and they hope to secure another. 
I am obliged to submit to all this with what appetite I may,. 


having no option allowed me in the case, and, if I had, could 
not, I suppose, on any warrantable grounds, decline prosecuting 
these public pests ; but I heartily wish the duty had fallen on 
shoulders better fitted to the burthen. The expense, you may 
suppose, I do not much relish neither have I any particular 
fancy for hanging people; but my scruples on that head are 
obviated by the assurance of the magistrates that the punish- 
ment in such a case as this is sure to be commuted for transport- 
ation for life, a penance I have no manner of objection to 

I am kindly comforted on all hands with hints that I may 
expect divers malicious and revengeful acts from those of the 
gang still at liberty, and whom there is not proof sufficient to 
lay hold of. Maiming of cattle, house-breaking, house-firing 
all these pleasant anticipations are tenderly murmured in my 
ear, but happily produce in me the very reverse effect to what 
might be expected ; for, in the first place, I think myself in no 
manner of danger, and have not allowed myself to be frightened 
out of an hour's sleep ; and, in the next, am spirited up to de- 
fend myself bravely, and, like a good general, have already put 
my fortress in proper state to withstand a siege. 

First, by way of warning, I have stuck up a huge, frightful 
engine y-clept a man-trap (not set at night, but you are not to 
blab that secret) ; then I have bought a great fierce bull-dog ; 
have provided my Grerman with a blunderbuss, powder, and 
shot, and myself with a pair of pistols, with which I dare make 
a noise at least ; for you know I told you my father had 
taught me to stand fire, and the report (soon spread) that one 
has such weapons, and dare use them, is almost as effective as 
an armed sentinel at one's door. Now dare you trust yourself 
in " my little lonely tower " ? But you dare not draw back, 
indeed ; you have too much chivalric spirit about you ; and I 
will not let you off no, nor part with you a day, nor an 
hour, nor a minute sooner than that you say must be the 

I wish you would bring some of your work to do here as 
well as at Streatham; then you might afford to stay longer, 


and yet lose no time ; and for quiet, you shall have a little 
study so still it might answer for the cell of silence ; and for 
hours ! they shall be at your own disposal, as in your own 
home ; so come and work here. 

Grod speed you on your way, you and your companion, 
and protect those you leave behind you. Eemember me to 
them all all, not forgetting Cuthbert. I should think extract 
of mouse would be the best thing for Rumplestilzchen's cough, 
though perhaps instinct pointed out cream cheese as the most 
effectual remedy, a sort oipdte de Guimauve. 

Farewell for a season, dear and kind friend of mine. I 
shall await your next letter impatiently. 


From a certain hint at the end of Lamb's letter, I half 
suspect that, in your schoolboy days, you were a party con- 
cerned in some outrage on Sir Cloudesly Shovel's nose in 
Westminster Abbey. 



KESWICK, November 2nd, 1823. 

I once declared in a poem that I never put out the eye of a 
Cyclops ; and I now declare with equal sincerity that I never 
offered any outrage to the nose of Sir Cloudesly Shovel. 

You have a good heart, and it stands you in good stead : 
would that some of my family had a portion of your courage ! 
But the truth is, that your Job's comforters are as unwise in 
entertaining their fears as they are in communicating them. 
There is danger in acting against smugglers and poachers, 
because smugglers and poachers think they have natural justice 
on their side, and have some show of reason for thinking so ; 


they therefore think themselves aggrieved when they are prose- 
cuted for their illicit practices, and feel as if they had a right -to 
revenge themselves upon anyone who has taken part against 
them. But this is not the case with those who have committed 
a breach of the moral law ; they are self-convicted of a known 
sin; and here in England not even a Bow-street officer has 
ever suffered the slightest injury from after-revenge, though 
sometimes very serious ones in the discharge of their duty. 
You may therefore sleep in peace. 

Perhaps it would lessen in some little degree the unplea- 
santness of your appearance at Winchester if you had any 
acquaintance there; and I can very well introduce you to 
Mrs. Hill's sisters, who reside in that city. But I shall see 
you before that time; and persuade you, I hope, not only 
almost, but wholly, that there are yet hopes and enjoyments 
in store for you in this world. 

This has remained unfinished till the last minute. It is 
now Sunday night, my table sadly disfurnished, everything 
packed, and my last despatches on the wing. God bless you. 

Yours affectionately, 




KIEKBT LONSDALE, November 4A, 1823. 

We left home yesterday, and are now at Kirkby Lonsdale, 
waiting for weather that may allow us to see the Caves ; for, 
from the time of our departure till this moment it has not 
ceased raining. The same ill fortune which persecuted you at 
Ambleside seems fated to attend us. The females, however, 
are company for each other ; they have taken out their work ; 


and the opportunity is favourable for performing a part of 
mine, which is to ask you whether one of those day-dreams 
to which you have given birth (a very delightful one to me 
it is) shall come to pass ? 

I have put up among my papers the memoranda which 
were made many years ago for a poem upon Robin Hood. 
They are easily shaped into a regular plan, and, in my judg- 
ment, a promising one. Will you form an intellectual union 
with me that it may be executed? We will keep our own 
secret as well as Sir Walter Scott has done. Murray shall 
publish it, and not know the whole mystery that he may make 
the more of it, and the result will be means in abundance for 
a summer's abode at Keswick, and an additional motive for 
it that we may form other schemes of the same nature. Am 
I dreaming when I think that we may derive from this much 
high enjoyment, and that you may see in the prospect some- 
thing which is worth living for? The secret itself would be 
delightful while we thought proper to keep it ; still more so 
the spiritual union which death would not part. 

Now on your side there must be no hesitation from diffi- 
dence. You can write as easily and as well as I can plan. 
You are as well acquainted with forest scenery, and with what- 
ever is required for the landscape part, as I am with the man- 
ners of the time. You will comprehend the characters as 
distinctly as I have conceived them; when we meet we will 
sort the parts so as each to take the most suitable, and I will 
add to yours, and you to mine, whatever may improve it. 
Beaumont and Fletcher composed plays together with such har- 
mony of style, thought, and feeling that no critic has ever been 
able to determine what parts were written by one and what 
by the other. Why should not E. S. and C. A. B. succeed 
as happily in the joint execution of a poem? 

As there can be no just cause or impediment why these 
two persons should not be thus joined together, tell me that 
you consent to the union, and I will send you the rude out- 
line of the story and of the characters. Direct to me at Sir Gr. 
Beaumont's, Bart., Cole-Orton Hall, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, where 


I expect to arrive on Monday next, and to remain till the 

Dear friend, God bless you, 



BUCKLAND, November 9th, 1823. 

How you have set me thinking ! Thinking, wondering, 
wishing, debating, doubting, almost yes, almost despairing. 
What ! I associated with you in any literary undertaking ! 
I have dreamt often enough, and strangely enough, heaven 
knows, and have been (what I thought) daring in my dreams ; 
but never in their very wildest flight glanced at such a possi- 
bility as you now point out to me. For a moment let me con- 
template the possibility of such a scheme. That would be some- 
thing worth living for, and rather would I be associated therein 
yea, contribute thereto the very humblest, meanest portions, 
the very commas and semicolons, thereby cementing that un- 
dying intellectual union you speak of than be the authoress, 
the sole authoress, of such a work as " Thalaba." I can find 
no language to express more warmly how, with heart and soul, 
I would say "Yes" promptly and eagerly, "Yes" to your 
tempting, tantalizing proposition, if only that odious mono- 
syllable ! You know well enough all it implies. You must 
know, if you consider by the cold, clear light of reason alone, 
unmingled with the warm, illusive emanations from that kind 
heart of yours, which (in its zeal to make me in love with 
life) has conjured up all this beautiful fabric. But let it stand 
awhile ; I have not the heart to demolish it with one resolute 
word. And " what if I were to try," whispers the longing 
spirit within me; "I could but fail at last, and there would 
be no harm done, and the friend who has conceived all this 


so delightfully would not withdraw his regard, nor think more 
meanly of me as a friend in the best sense of the word, be- 
cause I fall on trial so immeasurably below him in the scale 
of intellectual worth." So whispers The Voice. Is it that of 
a friendly or foolish spirit ? Answer my question by sending 
or not sending the outline you speak of. Nobody can detect 
the dovetailing of Beaumont and Fletcher's works: true; but 
their intellectual powers were matched as well as paired. Here 
the case is far otherwise. In feeling, I think, I believe (not 
surely in self-conceit) that I may go along with you; but 
when I would express those feelings, even in familiar conver- 
sation, I feel myself hemmed in like a salamander in his 
glowing circle baffled, obstructed, repelled, in every quarter. 
Moreover, you know I have told you I cannot write ; I 
cannot sit down to compose; that would effectually ^'.scorn- 
pose my scanty stock of ideas. How am I ever, then, to 
coalesce in any regular consistent work of composition? Can 
you solve this difficulty? I know you can work wonders, and 
are more than half a magician ; so speak over me (if within 
the compass of your art) words of such power as may make 
me what you say I can be. In short, your "day-dreams" are 
so enchanting, I must try to share in them a little while, at 
the risk, the almost certainty, of awaking at last to a blank 
and mortifying reality. When you are here (good angels 
speed you hither!) you will perceive my residence is far re- 
moved from real forest scenery, and, consequently, I am by 
no means so familiar with its local characteristics, as you sup- 
pose me to be; and then I believe our forest differs greatly, 
in almost every feature, from that of " Merry Sherwood." 
But I should never have done were I to go on enumerating 
the obstacles I perceive in my way. Would that genius and 
power were contagious qualities, I should have returned from 
Keswick rich in both ! 

Farewell, and Grod bless you, dear friend, 




STEEATHAM, November 19th, 1823. 

I should feel more uneasy than I have done under the- 
impossibility of replying sooner to your last most welcome 
letter, if I had not commissioned Dame Elizabeth (so named 
when we lay side by side in the boat of the Peak Cavern, like 
two figures on an old monument) to tell you I would write on 
the first possible opportunity. The endless round of occupa- 
tions and engagements in which I am involved in London you 
can hardly conceive ; they are such as literally not to leave me 
an interval of rest. Yesterday I got to this quiet Rectory,, 
after a most fatiguing morning. To-day I have, as a matter 
not to be delayed, written a short letter to Charles Lamb, 
which can hardly fail of making him heartily sorry for what 
he has done; and if he can forgive himself as easily as I 
forgive him, we shall meet again upon our old terms. This 
done, I set out with you for the forest of merry Sherwood. 

A tale of Robin Hood might without impropriety be as 
little regular in its structure as he was in his way of life. I 
think a striking introduction might be made by the funeral of 
his mother (dying in child-bed of him), the immediate depar- 
ture of the Earl, his father, to the Crusades, and the delivery 
of the infant to a kinsman, Sir Ranulph, as guardian, and 
the parental care of Father Hugh, the Earl's foster-brother. 
Twelve years may be allowed to elapse, during which the boy 
has grown wild, his guardian being always engaged in polit- 
ical turmoils, and the Priest an indulgent man. The Earl's 
heart is then brought home from the Holy Land, to be de- 
posited in the same grave with his wife. And then an interval 
of seven or eight years more, when the proper story of the 


poem commences, with a service for the souls of the Earl and 
his wife. After the service Father Hugh takes the opportunity 
of mildly lecturing the young Earl Eobert for his propensities 
to forest sports and inferior company, and his utter neglect 
of knightly accomplishments it having previously been shown 
that this had arisen from his guardian's constant absence and 
entire neglect. It appears now that Eanulph's intention is to 
bring about a marriage between Eobert and his only child, 
Aveline ; but Aveline has already given her heart to Gilbert 
with the white hand, a squire of low degree, and Eobin, as 
his comrades have from childhood called him, declares his de- 
termination never to marry anybody but Maid Marian, the 
miller's daughter. Marian is a skylark, and Aveline a turtle 
dove ; Gilbert of a gentle, poetical disposition, and yet Eobin 
and he are bosom friends. 

Eanulph arrives to effect the marriage, and in his anger at 
a refusal which disappoints the plan of securing the estates for 
his own family, sends off Marian (as a villain's daughter) to 
be forcibly married, and commits Aveline to the custody of a 
severe lady abbess. Eobin collects his comrades, rescues his 
own love first, then storms the nunnery, carries off Aveline for 
Gilbert, and away they go to the forest. 

Then for a rich pastoral book, describing the life of the out- 
laws. Eanulph is now one of John's favourites, and on the 
watch to arrest and make away with King Eichard on his re- 
turn from captivity. The story is to be wound up by Eobin 
Hood's delivering Cceur de Lion from this danger, being rein- 
stated in his rank, &c., but resigning them all to Gilbert and 
Aveline, and choosing to pass his days always as the king of 
the forest. It will be easy enough to make out this part of 
the fable, which, indeed, will shape itself while the rest is in 
progress. How like you this, my friend and partner dear? 
Are there not rich capabilities to be dreamt of now to be 
talked of soon and then to be realized? 

But I must conclude, not to lose the post ; and for the same 
reason must do without a frank. You may direct to me, 
under cover, to John Eickman, Esq., New Palace Yard. Only 


one word more. I hope I have put your books in the way of 
being reviewed in the Quarterly. 

God bless you, 

Yours affectionately, 


I cannot tell you when I can move westward yet. Tell you 
me what coaches pass near you from the westward. 


BUCKLAND, January 24, 1824. 

Your parcel never reached me till last night, long after 
our post-hour. To-day is Saturday no London post; but I 
must write to-day. I must thank you, scold you say some- 
thing of what my heart is very full of, and which it would 
be great 'penance for me to keep quite in another whole day. 
You have made me very rich, and very grateful, and very 
angry. Your Poetical Works given by you, an inestimable 
treasure to me, and so they would have been in their plain suit 
of boards ; and you should not have lavished on me that elegant 
binding, which I am determined not to let you know I think 
beautiful. With a few strokes of your pen you have made one 
volume more valuable to me than the whole art of binding 
could have rendered it. But you have been very niggardly 
in that respect : you might verily have enriched each set, at 
least, with the same talisman. You will laugh when I say 
I never open a book so inscribed without looking at the writ- 
ing : this is among many odd fancies of mine. 

I seized eagerly on the Minor Poems. Strangely enough, 


the volume I took up opened at a page where the first words 
that met my eye were 

"I am no sworn friend 
Of half-an-hour, as apt to leave as love : 
Mine are no mushroom feelings, which spring up 
At once without a seed, and take no root." 

That sounded pleasantly to me, though I have not (I wish 
I had) the claims of " Cousin Margaret." 

I have been at work trying that metre of " Thalaba," and 
fine work I make of it ! It is to me just like attempting to 
drive a tilbury in a tram-road. I keep quartering, or trying 
to quarter, for a yard or so, and then down goes the wheel into 
the old groove. I cannot keep out of blank verse. When I 
have written off a few lines, pretty fairly as to look, on read- 
ing them aloud, lo ! they are neither more nor less than a scrap 
of blank verse, snipt into longs and shorts ; and if I force my- 
self out of this track, then do I invent such horrible discord 
that the sound stops me short, as a false note from the orchestra 
stops one in the middle of a dance. You would laugh to see 
me in the agony of composition. 

The magistrates of Ghiernsey have given notice to our ma- 
gistrates that they have secured the runaway ringleader of the 
gang that robbed me, and two constables are gone over to fetch 
the gentleman, and convoy him here and then to Winchester, 
all at my cost ; but our senators leave me no option. 

God bless you, dear friend, and keep you safe and patient 
in " Vanity Town," and send you safe out of it, in which wish 
you will join me heartily. 

Be so good, the first time you write to me, as to tell me 
(for the information of a person who wishes to possess a bust of 
you) where those are to be bought, such as I saw at your house 
and at General Peachey's, and of what those are composed. I 
rather suspect they were only made to order, and that others- 
are no longer to be purchased. Once more, farewell. 

Yours gratefully and affectionately, 





NORWICH, January 21th, 1824. 

Till now I have not had five minutes during which I could 
quietly put pen to paper since we parted. I breakfasted in the 
Close at Winchester on the morning after, saw the cathedral 
and the college, found room in the coach at noon, and reached 
London at night. The next day I secured places in the Nor- 
wich mail for Friday evening, and dined among " strange 
women," at Lady Malet's a situation something worse than 
Daniel in the lions' den. Your note on the travelling frank 
reached me before I left town, and after a parcel had been 
sent off, which I hope reached you without mishap, though with 
no better packing than my hands (awkward at such work) could 
give it. You have there all my poems which have as yet been 
printed in that form. How many more such volumes may be 
added to them depends as much upon you as on myself. Many 
I hope and trust, very many, to your benefit and mine, to our 
mutual delight, to our lasting remembrance. 

We arrived here safely on Saturday morning ; Sunday I 
heard Neville* officiate in a little village church of which he 
is curate. One of his brother's hymns was sung there, and I 
dined at his mother's, where her whole family were assembled, 
with the father and mother of Neville's wife. Ten years ago, 
when he had no prospect of marriage, I volunteered to be god- 
father to his first son ; and very obligingly the son made his 
entrance a month ago, and is this day to be christened Henry 

I do not believe that any act of kindness was ever so largely 
overpaid as that has been which I rendered to the Whites. 
It has been of far greater consequence to them than I could 
possibly have dreamt of ; but their gratitude has more than 

* Neville White, brother of Henry Kirke White. 


kept pace with the benefit which they have received. And 
when I think that to the publication of Henry's " Eemains " I 
am indebted for my knowledge of you,* I certainly look upon it 
as one of the most fortunate events of my life, and perhaps one 
of the most influential. If as a poet I am to have a second 
spring (there is still sap enough in the trunk enough life in 
the root), to this it must be owing. 

But the christening guests are come, and I must hasten to 
say two things first, that you may introduce a few songs with 
good effect ; and secondly, that I have promised to ask you for 
a devotional poem, as an act of charity to a poor music master 
here, now four years a helpless paralytic, for whom poets are 
willing to write, and composers to set the strains, and to whom 
I have promised something from myself and something from 
you, from whom I might venture to promise. 

One thing more do not forget that I wish, earnestly wish, 
to pay what tribute I can to Paul Burrard's memory, f Send 
me such notice of him as you may have heart to give. I will 
do my best. 

And now, dear friend, dear Caroline, farewell. Let me have 
a letter from you in Queen Ann Street, where I hope to arrive 
on Thursday the 5th. Edith's love. 

God bless you. 


* Encouraged by the knowledge of his kind reception of H. K. White's 
Poems, Miss Bowles had sent to Southey her MS. 

f See Southey's Poetical Works : " Inscriptions," " To the Memory of 
Paul Burrard." Paul Burrard was cousin of Caroline Bowles, who furnished 
Southey with some memorials of the heroic young man. 



LONDON, February 13/t, 1824. 

A few hurried lines in the midst of all the joy, dirt and 
discomfort of packing, hammering, cording, &c. 

Thank you for the purse, though it was a dangerous 
mclosure, and might have been (perhaps ought to have been) 
stabbed at the Post Office, as coming from a part of the coast 
noted for smuggling. Remember that Rickman's frank will 
not cover more than two ounces. 

Thank you also for both your little poems : the sea one I 
think will suit the poor petitioner's purpose well. The other 
is one of the most striking and original I ever met with in 
any language, and so it has been felt to be by the few persons 
to whom I have shown it.* There is a single line which needs 

"O'er him he loved that livid clay." 

I wish I could see how to alter it. But I will examine the 
whole, and see whether in any word it can be improved, for 
be assured that little piece will take its place with Gray's 
" Elegy " and Herbert Knowles's. 

So little rest have I had since I left you that my portfolio 
goes home full of unanswered letters. I will write with my 
first leisure to you about the irregular blank verse. You have 
only to unlearn the common tune, and then follow your ear, 
taking mere convenience for your guide, except where the 
subject brings with it, as it often will do, its own measure. 
Break yourself of the common tune by practising in six- 
syllable lines, and in eight-syllable ones. 

Mary Wollstonecraft I had never seen when those lines 
to her were written. I saw her afterwards, twice or thrice, 

* The poem spoken of is " It is not Death " : Solitary Hours, pp. 57-59. 

E 2 


and dined once at her house : she was a delightful woman, 
and in better times, or in better hands would have been an 
excellent one. But her lot had fallen in evil days and the men 
to whom she attached herself were utterly unworthy of her. 
You shall see one of these days what I say of that tempestuous 
age ; few persons but those who have lived in it can conceive- 
or comprehend what the memory of the French Revolution was, 
nor what a visionary world seemed to open upon those who 
were just entering it. Old things seemed passing away, and 
nothing was dreamt of but the regeneration of the human race. 

You asked about my bust. Smith in Upper Norton-street 
has the mould, and casts may always be had there. 

I have no time for more. Sunday, thank God, I shall be at 
home, and, if I find all well, shall be truly happy. Yet I depart 
with a heavier feeling than I ever took from London before, for 
it is not likely that I shall ever see my uncle again. He is very 
infirm, more so than might have been expected at seventy- four. 
Last night I went to assist him into his carriage, and before he 
had driven off, or I had re-entered the door, some men passed 
between us bearing a coffin. Mere accident as it was, I wish 
it had not occurred, for it must have affected him as it did me. 
Edith's love. 

God bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, February 24th, 1824. 

Since I returned I have been replying to the heap of letters, 
which as they followed me about were laid aside till a more 
convenient season. You will easily understand that such letters 
are meant as had no right to more ceremonious treatment. 

I have been unpacking, arranging, and idling over the long 


looked for box of books from Italy, and a parcel of some forty 
volumes which I dispatched from Norwich. 

I have been enjoying an old coat, and old shoes ; habits so 
regular that the clock might be regulated by them my usual 
breakfast, my usual hours, my after-dinner sleep ; the concious- 
ness of being at rest in a word, home after a long absence. All 
things are now resuming their old course. The children come 
to me regularly with their lessons, and I go down to supper 
with a folio under my arm, to be taken with the black currant 
rum, as a composer. Eumpelstilzchen arches his back to meet 
my salutation in the kitchen, and Hurlyburlybuss greets me 
with the like demonstration of good will in the garden. Proof- 
sheets are the only things wanting to my contentment, and I 
shall not be long without them. 

I had been absent fifteen weeks wanting one day. To say 
nothing of the arrears of business which so long an interruption 
occasions, there were heavy arrears of sleep ; and if on the 
former score I am debtor, here I am on the creditor side of 
the account. By a fair calculation, not less than three hundred 
and forty-five hours of good honest sleep were due to me when 
I reached home, at the rate of three hours lost in every twenty- 
four, besides six nights passed in stage coaches. Such arrears 
are like the national debt too large to be paid off ; and having 
taken out a small part, I am making a magnanimous resolution 
to cancel the remainder of the debt, and rise as early as I did 
in London. The produce of this time before breakfast will find 
its way to Buckland, and before you receive this letter I shall 
have made a beginning. 

There can be no more difficulty in your writing the verse 
of Thalaba than there is in an expert dancer's acquiring a new 
step. The simple rule is to consult the ear alone, and when 
you use lines of less than ten syllables, let the pause generally 
be at the end of the line. 

I sent your sea-poem to the poor musician at Norwich. 
The other and the finer of the two is not so appropriate to 
his purpose, and is, moreover, too good to be so bestowed. My 
admiration of it is nothing abated by frequent re-reading 


and re-considering it. The feeling and the movement are 
in beautiful accord, and the expression is everywhere ex- 
cellent, except in the stanza respecting Lazarus. The poem, 
if it were set to music with a thousandth part of the feeling 
that it breathes, could not fail of doing good. What are 
Shield's merits as a composer ? He is the only musician 
whom I know, but whether he has any merit or not in his 
profession is what others must tell me, for I am utterly igno- 
rant upon that subject. If, however, you think well of him, 
he I know would think himself obliged to me if I sent him 
the poem. 

I hope to do a great deal this year, and among other things 
to complete the series of " Inscriptions ; " the sooner they are 
published the better, because every year lessens the number 
of those persons who would be gratified by seeing this tribute 
paid to their lost friends. 

Grod bless you. 




KESWICK, Saturday, February 28th, 1824. 

I told you before you received my letter I should have 
returned to my old habit of writing verses before breakfast 
(at which time nine-tenths at least of "Thalaba," "Madoc," 
"Kehama," and "Roderick" were written). I began on 
Thursday, and in three mornings have produced what you 
see. Five-and-twenty years ago I should have written three 
times as much in one. Without inquiring whether what is lost 
in measure is gained in weight, there is satisfaction enough 
in knowing that even at this rate a long poem may be com- 
pleted in twelve months ; and that if I hold on (as I will do, 
provided you bear your part), and you keep pace with me,, 


half that time will complete our purpose, and we may publish 
at the close of the year. 

I have not patience to proceed further with the first canto 
before I send you what is already written. You have here a 
beginning which, when I receive a copy of the book " from the 
author," I shall gravely pronounce to be a very good imitation 
of my own manner, and honestly add that it is quite as good 
as I could produce myself. The fragments shall be forwarded 
to you as I proceed, written all in the same form for con- 
venience of arrangement. Now, dear Caroline, go you to 
work with the same mind and the same will, and we shall 
build something more durable, if not more beautiful, than the 
best castle that either of us has ever erected, great architects 
as we both have been in that line. 

God bless you. 


It is needless to say that the sample which you receive now 
needs polishing in some places. You will feel, as I do, when 
it fails to satisfy the ear or to express the thought felicitously. 



KESWICK, April 9th, 1824. 

Since your letter arrived I have been engaged at one time 
with the prevalent catarrh (not my annual visitor, or it would 
not have left me so easily or so soon) ; and afterwards with an 
unexpected guest. I send you now a few more stanzas ; 
the next batch will probably conclude the canto. Send me 
some in return, and take up the story where you will; in 
the next canto if you like it, with the infancy and child- 
hood of the orphan, and conclude it with the return of the 


few forlorn survivors who bring home their Lord's heart. I 
shall proceed with the better will when I am assured that 
you are at work. 

Such resemblances in sound as that between faith and fate 
I gladly avail myself of, when they occur without the appear- 
ance of being sought for. The use of alliteration in our poetry 
is as old as that of rhyme, indeed it supplies the place of rhyme 
in one form of verse that in which Pierce Ploughman's vision 
is written. Like every other artifice in versification it has been 
overdone, and thereby rendered disgusting. I was a greatr 
offender in this way in my boyhood, before I learnt to use 
my tools. 

You asked me- why Sara Coleridge did not rather begin 
with Joinville or De GKiesclin than with Bayard. Because 
Bayard's is a popular name, and Joinville had been translated 
about fifteen years ago by Johnes of Hafod, villainously 
enough Heaven knows, never man having more liking for 
such works, with less taste. 

A lady has translated " Roderick " into Dutch verse, and 
dedicates it to me in verse also. Her husband is the most emi- 
nent man of his age, as a poet and critic, Bilderdijk by name, 
and the translation appears to be very well done : that is, I can 
see it is true to the original, and the husband assures me of its 
merits in other respects. The dedication would please you, 
as it does me. She has lost a son at sea, I know not whether 
in battle or by course of nature, and she describes in these 
verses, how while she hoped for his return, she used to ap- 
ply that part of the poem about Alphonso and his mother 
to her own heart. 

God bless you, dear Caroline. 





BUCKLAND, April Wth, 1824. 

I send you what will, I think, be my first and last contribu- 
tion to the grand coalition, for you cannot fail to perceive from 
this specimen and you may be sure I have done my best 
how utterly incapable I am of fulfilling your expectations. 
There is some heroism in sending you this stuff, which I desire 
you will give me credit for; but you must afford me a little 
compassion also, for it is mortifying to find myself excluded by 
my own incapacity from so delightful an association. It is 
said, " A bird that can sing, and won't sing, must be made 
to sing ; " but I have tried to sing and cannot, so you must 
bear with me. 

I tried to begin the second canto ; but enough of this non- 
sense. Do not you relinquish the plan. 

I have been very seriously ill almost ever since I last wrote ; 
very ill in body, worse in mind, in my head ; sometimes in that 
state, that if I had had a friend near me, I should have caught 
hold of him, imploring him to save me from I know not what. 
I was getting a little better when your last letter arrived. The 
wind came to the south that day, and I was allowed to breathe 
it in the gravel walk before the house, when a bee came hum- 
ming about me with its summer sound. Those three circum- 
stances did me a world of good your letter most, far most ; and 
then, in a fit of grateful valour, I set about my task. I had 
put it off and off till then from a cowardly misgiving, and lo ! 
you have the result. Pray do not love me the less because I 
have thus disappointed your expectations. Your acknowledged 
predilection for Vro-ws was a sort of presentiment of the compli- 
ment to be paid you by this Dutch lady. I envy her powers, 
and wish I could read her translation. You can burn this, you 
know, without saying anything about it, which will do as well 
as my writing upon a separate paper, for in truth there is not 


enough in this unhappy head of mine to manage the business 
cleverly now, and alas ! for the secret. 

Pray write to me, if only to scold. What would I give for 
only one poor half-hour of your society now and then ! A let- 
ter from you is next in value. Tell me if "Paraguay" goes 
on, and "Oliver Newman." I had a great deal to say, but 
forget all now, except that I am 

Your most affectionate friend, 



KESWICK, April 24th, 1824. 

If I were to wait some ten days or a fortnight, I should 
convince you in a very effectual manner that the grand alliance 
is not at an end, by sending you back the substance of your 
own lines in another form. You shall see them taken up and 
recast, when the first canto is finished ; but I will not delay 
telling you that you must not be disheartened because you have 
failed to satisfy yourself with your first lesson in a new style of 
art. It is what would happen to you in music or in painting. 

That it is difficult to fall into this mode of versification I 
believe, because you find it so, and because one other person 
who, though not like yourself, a poet in heart and soul, rhymes 
with sufficient ease and dexterity, made an attempt and failed 
in it. But that it is of all modes the easiest, when once 
acquired, I am perfectly certain, and so you will find it. But 
rather than break the alliance, we would turn it into rhyme. 
This will not be required. 

You have only to learn what the simple principles are upon- 
which these lines are constructed ; perhaps they may be reduced 
to this simple and single one, that every line should in itself be 
a complete verse, a rule which, in the ordinary heroic cadence, 


would admit lines of four, six, eight, and ten syllables. That 
cadence (the iambic, that is to say, the short syllable followed 
by the long, for example 

What heart sojirm, what nature so severe} 

should not be mixed with a different one (the trochaic, which is 
long and short, nor the galloping ones, with one accent in three 
syllables) in the same sentence, unless for the sake of produc- 
ing a peculiar and designed effect. And then they must be 
blended, as you shade colours into each other in your land- 
scapes. Look at some of my minor poems, and at parts of 
" Thalaba," and you will see what experiments I have made 
in this way. I wish I were with you. I should teach you 
as boys are taught to compose Latin verses, by making them 
write mere nonsense, till they learn the tune and the mechanism 
of the metre. 

I write to tell you this, and put you in good humour with 
yourself and the alliance ; otherwise I would have waited in the 
hope, and almost with the expectation, that tomorrow I might 
have sent you the inscription upon your noble cousin. After 
twice beginning, I am now in a fair way of finishing it, and it 
shall be sent you as soon as it is in a fit state for transcription, 
though it may probably receive many corrections before it goes 

But I must break off, for I have letters of business to write. 
So, dear Caroline, farewell for the present. This weather I 
hope will bring health to you, as it does enjoyment to birds, 
brutes, and vegetables. 

Once more farewell. 




BUCKLAND, May 5th, 1824. 

I have received both your letters ; the first, you will be sur- 
prised to hear, but one day earlier than the second, dated four 
days later. Of the second and its enclosure I must first speak, 
to tell you that the latter* that most beautiful and touching 
tribute to the memory of one long lost, but dearly remembered 
has imparted to my feelings such deep and soothing delight, 
such pure and sweet contentment, as I firmly believe no human 
agency save yours could have produced in me. Yours is a holy, 
a blessed power, and many are the hearts that will bear witness 
with mine that it is so, when that volume of records shall 
come forth. But I am commissioned with other thanks (and 
yet how imperfectly have I expressed my own grateful feel- 
ings!) the mother of him whose memory you have saved 
from the oblivion into which it would have been consigned, 
when the hearts in which it now lives are cold. His mother 
was with me when I received your last letter, and you would 
have been perfectly, yet painfully, rewarded, had you seen the 
" j7 f grief" with which she dwelt ever since on that precious 
record, and heard the tone in which she at last found strength to 
utter, " Such was my dear child ! " and then she tried to frame 
such words of grateful acknowledgment as might convey to you, 
through me, a part of what she felt. They were very inar- 
ticulate thanks ; but I will not profane the true language of 
the heart (which you will be at no loss to comprehend) by com- 
pressing it into the poverty of words. We both bless you. 

Now for your first letter. You would fain encourage me, 
and comfort and help me, in despite of your conscience, and I 
am more gratified by your kindness to me than mortified by my 
own incapacity, for such it is, say what you will; and you 
cannot but see it too, not only as to the construction of the 

* The Inscription, " To the Memory of Paul Burrard." 


verse, but as to the substance of the thing, the poverty of ideas 
of language, of everything. 

I do not think the metre would be difficult to any but the 
dullest of all creatures ; and as for rhyme, it would be equally 
unattainable to me now, and ideas I have none, and fancy I 
have none, nor hope, nor courage : nothing but feeling, and 
that mute ; and wishes, and they are futile ; and regret, 
and that is unreasonable, for I ought to have known myself 
better. You will send me, though, the remainder of the first 
canto, will you not? The arrival of those fragments made such 
pleasant epochs in my life of nothingness. 

I have had a comical enough adventure lately. A dashing 
Captain of Lancers, who has taken it into his head to turn 
author, took it into his head also to send me his precious MS. 
and to ask through a mutual friend my opinion of the same, 
intimating that he should have the honour to call on me and 
reclaim his papers. Lo ! what should this sublime production 
turn out to be but a satirical poem mostly aimed at yourself 
vile, execrable, miserable trash. So I sent it back to its author 
post haste, with a little courteous billet declining the honour 
of being acquainted with him, and recommending him, as he 
flattered me by asking my advice, to take his work to Hone, 
or Sherwood, or The Byron's Head, or some other treason and 
blasphemy shop, where it might possibly meet with a publisher. 
I have heard nothing more of the reptile.* 

Farewell, dear friend. 


* In reply May 10th Southey writes: "Your adventure with the 
Satirist is an amusing one. I remember writing in a printed satire of this 
kind many years ago these lines from a play of Sir William Davenant, for 
myself and the friends who were therein ahused with me : 

" ' Libels of such weak texture and composure 
That we do all esteem it greater wrong 
T' have our name extant in such paltry verse 
Than in the slanderous sense.' 

I thank God that, as I have among my friends some of the hest and wisest 




KESWICK, June 7th t 1824. 

I am under the visitation of my annual cold, which con- 
demns me for a great part of every day to idleness. In the 
morning I do not rise before breakfast, because this visitor 
rises with me, and very soon afterwards I am fain to lie back 
on the sofa, and close my eyes, which have no complaint of 
their own, but are incapable of bearing the light, while the 
membrane which lines the nose and the throat are in a state 
of such extreme excitability. First I tried repose, and that 
almost long enough to disable me from exertion, by 
putting me, what is called out of condition; then I tried 
exercise, and am now again resigned to inaction and a darkened 
room, with an upper lip which no razor dare approach, and 
a proboscis half excoriated by the frequent visits of the pocket- 
handkerchief. In 1799, when I had the first of these inveterate 
catarrhs (which I never failed to have every year since, except 
when I was in Portugal), I wrote an ode upon it, being at 
that time Poet Laureate to the Morning Post, and it is worthy 
of being transferred from the rough copy in my desk to Edith's 
magnifico album. Behold a specimen of it ! 

Weave the warp and weave the woof, 

The pocket-handkerchief for me ; 
Give ample room and verge enough 

To hold the flowing sea. 
Heard ye the din of trumpets bray 

Nose to napkin, nostril-force, 
Hot currents urge their way, 
And thro' the double fountain take their course. 

of their age, so I have for my enemies the veriest wretches that disparage 
nature. This Lancer is only a poor coxcomb, but I have them in all degrees 
of ass-ishness, and in all degrees of baseness and villainy, from your officer 
up to Lord Juan the Giaour." 


Mark the social hours of night 
When the house-roof shall echo with affright, 

The sneezes' sudden thunder ! 

The neighbours rise in wonder, 
A room- quake follows : each upon his chair 
Starts at the fearful sound and interjects a prayer. 

Just half my life has elapsed since that ode was written, and 
among those parts of my character which remain unaffected by 
time, the love of nonsense, as you may perceive, is one. 

Since you heard from me I have scarcely been able to write 
anything except a review of Hayley's " Memoirs " which I went 
through doggedly, making what I could of materials not very 
good in themselves, and miserably put together by their author. 
Having, however, some gratitude for Hayley for introducing 
me by his notes to the Spanish poets a good deal of respect 
for his love of literature and the arts, and the country, for his 
total exemption from all envious feelings, his attachment to his 
friends above all, for his devotion to that poor son I have 
spoken of him in a style very different from the prevailing 
tone of Magazines and Reviews. 

You asked me once about Mary Wollstonecraft : I had never 
seen her when that dedication was written. I saw her after- 
wards three or four times when she was Mrs. Godwirf, and never 
saw a woman who would have been better fitted to do honour 
to her sex, if she had not fallen on evil times, and into evil 
hands. But it is hardly possible for anyone to conceive what 
those times were, who has not lived in them. 

I wish Landor's book may fall in your way ; still more do 
I wish that you could see Landor himself, who talks as that 
book is written, as if he spoke in thunder and lightning. 
Such of the sheets as frightened the publisher were sent to 
me, and I struck out what would either have given most 
offence here, or endangered his personal safety where he is. 
How it is received I know not, and indeed I know nothing of 
what is going on in the world of London, except that Edith 
is not yet ball-sick, and that poor Bertha, I believe, is home- 
sick. The former goes into Devonshire at the end of this 


month with Lady Malet ; the latter to the neighbourhood of 
Portsmouth with the Eickmans; and in case she should pass 
your way in any of their excursions which is by no means 
unlikely I shall tell her when she may hope to give you a 
passing call. We are parching here for want of rain. The 
History of the " West Indies " is my brother Tom's. I hear to- 
day that Bowles is out of health, and depressed by it. He- 
is at present in London. How are you? and is your sing- 
ing time come ? for come it will. Love from all here. Cuthbert 
would be delighted to see you, and your Sultan also, being a 
great admirer of what he used to call oodleoos.* 

Dear friend, Grod bless you. 



CHELTENHAM, June 20th, 1824. 

Were you to write about a broomstick, the essay would be 
sure to furnish forth something infinitely entertaining ; there- 
fore I expect to be entertained by your review of Hayley ? s 
"Memoirs," but the book itself is to me the most miserable, 
meagre, affected, ill-arranged string of common-places I ever 
yawned over. You are more tenderhearted and indulgent than 
I am. I cannot give Hayley credit for all the feeling he pre- 
tends to. Feeling does not thrust itself into notice so perpetu- 
ally : feeling does not flow into verse, or even words, at the first 
moment of excitement, though I know that, when it subsides 
into calm melancholy, poetry is its natural language. Hayley 
wrote epitaphs upon his dearest friends before their eyes were 
well closed a sort of poetical carrion crow! I never could 
have endured that man, with all his tender epitaphs. I dare- 

* Query Cocks, from cockadoodledoos ? 


say lie helped to drive his poor wife mad "his pitiably irri- 
table Eliza." There is something very unsatisfactory even in 
his attention to the poor youth, his son. How strange that he 
should choose only to visit him in the day-time, making Felp- 
ham his own residence. 

But all the particulars of Hayley's life did not bear telling. 

Now, by so much as I am more splenetic, and more un- 
charitable than you, am I more fit for a critic. 

Grod bless you, dear friend. 

Ever affectionately yours, 



KESWICK, July 4th, 1824. 

Hayley's book is as bad as you describe it, and there is 
truth enough in your view of his character to justify its sever- 
ity. Yet he has his better points, and I verily believe the 
worst thing he ever did was writing those Memoirs ; for, as 
they stand, they have the deadly sin of dulness, and as he left 
them they were much more sinful. By way of explaining his 
domestic history, he intended to publish details which ought not 
to have been whispered even in a confessional. Yet you will 
see that Mrs. H. must have made no secret of the matter to 
Miss Seward. Perhaps I am the more inclined to excuse him, 
because his wife has made a very disagreeable impression upon 
me by a silly, or worse than silly, essay called " The Triumph 
of Acquaintance over Friendship." I like him, not for his 
writings as you may well suppose, but for his love of litera- 
ture. It is so rare a thing to find a man in Hayley's rank who 
prefers it to dogs, or horses, or guns, the common dissipations, or 
the common business of the world (which is not much better), 
that I could forgive him even if his epitaphs had been more 


numerous and worse than they are. You are right about the 
nature of his feeling ; it was of a kind that easily worked itself 
off. As far as my observation extends, those persons recover 
soonest from their sorrow who let it take its full course at first. 

Whether I have done as well with Hayley as you are pleased 
to say I should have done with a broomstick you will pro- 
bably soon see. But for your sake I certainly will try what 
I can do with the latter subject ; it does me as much good to 
indulge sometimes in nonsense as it did Hayley to draw off his 
sensibility in a sonnet. 

Dear Caroline, Grod bless you. 



KESWICK, August 12th, 1824. 

Dear friend, what is become of you ? Day after day I have 
lived in hopes of hearing that you were, laying in a new stock of 
health. There is a physical regeneration which sometimes takes 
place. You have a great deal to do, and I have a great deal to 
do which will not be done without you. If I have done nothing 
of late, it is because I have not risen early enough to write before 
breakfast since I commenced invalid. The attack has been an 
ugly one, and continued long. I am now tolerably recovered, 
though there are yet some remains of the cough ; but I am 
regaining strength, and have taken my first long walk to-day. 

This day completes my fiftieth year. Neither of my parents 
lived to complete their fifty-first. 

August 2lst. A friend has just sent me from America the 
account of Philip's War, written by the son of the man who 
commanded when Philip was killed. It has been procured at 
last, after a search of seven years, and it contains portraits of 
Philip and of Captain Benjamin Church, the hero of the history. 


Can anything be more incongruous with dignified poetry than 
the name of this latter person ? Yes his portrait is even more 
so. But I wish I could show you both, for you have a liking 
for odd things, and these I am sure would amuse you. I am 
bound, however, to pursue this long-delayed poem,* in justice 
to my Transatlantic acquaintances, who are looking so eagerly 
for it, and have been singularly obliging in providing me with 
everything they could find relating to those times. And I have 
a strong reason for wishing not to leave it like " the story of 
Cambuscan bold," which is, that if it were completed I could 
obtain a good sum for it. 

Dear Caroline, God bless you. 



BUCKLAKT), August 29A, 1824. 

You are almost the only living creature in whom I have 
never found myself mistaken or disappointed, and you do not 
shun me because I am in sorrow, as is the world's way, and as 
I have bitterly experienced in times past from some who had 
sought and caressed me in my happier days. Well, one friend 
of all weathers would compensate for the unkindness of fifty 
such worlds ; and if I have found you late, it is not too late, for, 
as you say, we shall meet " surely and lastingly hereafter." 
Grod grant we may here, and I do not despair of it, because, 
though hopeless of the physical regeneration you speak of, mine 
is not a disease that very quickly accomplishes its work. 

I hope you are now able to enjoy this lovely weather (if it 
is as lovely with you as with us), and to take the exercise so 
necessary to you. I often shut my eyes, and see myself 
standing with you on the point of Friar's Crag, the spot to 

* " Oliver Newman." 
F 2 


which we walked so frequently. I see the fretwork pavement 
as plain as when I stood upon it ; the crags and stones be- 
neath ; the red boles of the tall firs, through which we looked 
up towards the grand pass into Borrodale, and that conical 
mountain that stood like a sentinel at its entrance, always more 
darkly blue than its surrounding brethren. Such visions often 
fill me with a strange impatience that I cannot, like a glance of 
the mind, overleap time and space, and be corporeally where I 
am in spirit. My present state is a very restless one. I am 
suffering terribly, night and day, from past over-excitement 
and the dead calm which has succeeded to it.* I cannot fix to 
anything, and my strange fancy of the moment is that I should 
like to be out on the sea in some little boat that danced upon 
the waves, and over which the cool spray might dash upon me. 
As a proof of my consistency of character, be it known to you 
that I never willingly stepped into a boat in my life, being in 
truth a very coward on the water. 

You have sent me a beautiful continuation of the work in 
which I have proved so miserable a defaulter. I . hastened to 
unite it to the preceding part, and to read all over together, with 
an interest I scarce thought myself still susceptible of. I shall 
always have a peculiar interest in that poem, for you mil com- 
plete it. And I am glad to hear your Transatlantic friends have, 
in a manner, bound you to the completion of Oliver Newman, 
and that you are likely to be remunerated by something more 
solid than barren admiration. You have not shown much 
genius for bargaining hitherto. 

Here is the Quarterly Review just sent me, and where are 
you ? No review of Hayley, as you promised me, and I sent 
for the Review on purpose. Is anything in it yours ? As yet 
I have only looked over the list of contents. 

My mind misgave me that "The Mariner's Hymn" would 
not chime easily into music. The other would have fallen into 
tune better ; but if the first is too long, the second is still more 
inadmissible on that score, nor is it of the description of poem 
wanted. I have tried my hand again, but I fear very un- 

* Following the illness and death of her aged nurse. 


successfully, both as to subject and expression, and length too, 
for I could not get it into shorter compass, and I could not 
keep self out of it, as I would fain have done, nor strike a note 
but upon one chord. There was an ancient instrument called a 
" monochord," I think. My poetic harp is such a one, its dia- 
pason embracing but the single string responsive to the feeling 
of the moment, and I have no powers to vary the monotonous 

Grod bless you, dear friend ; bless and preserve you. 


P. S. You wrote to me on your birthday. I shall not 
forget that day if I live till its next anniversary. If I live 
till the sixth of next December, I shall then complete my 
thirty- seventh or thirty-eighth year ; I am not certain which. 
There is a cruel kindness in keeping (particularly marking) 
the birthdays of children and young people. I have felt it to 
be so, since one by one every voice has been silenced that was 
wont to hail the anniversary of mine. The next sixth of 
December will be doubly a wintry day to me, for it will be 
the first in my remembrance that will bring with it no tribute 
of affection. My dear bonne, according to the custom of her 
country, used always to bring me a nosegay on that morning ; 
yes, flowers even on that wintry day; and I believe if we 
had dwelt on the Great St. Bernard she would have contrived 
to find some among its eternal snows. No voice, no kiss, no 
flowers now. It will be all winter. 



KESWICK, September 10M, 1824. 

Dear Caroline Thank you for your verses, which I tran- 
scribed rather than [part with the original, and sent to the poor 


musician. I send you his Prospectus, and take it for granted 
that he will send you the work. 

I am fairly rid of my annual disease, and in other respects 
materially better than when my last was written so much so 
that I was on the summit of Helvellyn last week. Send me as 
good an account of your amendment, and we will look on to 
many meetings, some of them, I hope, here, in this lovely 

Soon I shall have more verses to send you. You have not 
proved yourself a defaulter yet. And I have more schemes 
for you. I have plans for three or four plays which you 
could execute, for you will not pretend to deny or doubt that 
you can write dramatically. 

To day we heard from Bertha and of Edith. Bertha is 
still near Portsmouth in high health and spirits. Of Edith 
I heard from Lightfoot, under whose roof she is at this time. 
If she is not contented there, it will not be for want of kind- 
ness on the part of the family, for if a dog were to scratch at 
Lightfoot's door with my name on his collar, he would be 
taken into the parlour, and made as much of as your poor 1 
old Eanger, whom I remember in a manner that proves the 
truth of the old saying. 

This is a hasty letter, but I shall soon write again when I 
transmit a few more stanzas, and two half letters are better 
than one whole one. 

God bless you. 



KESWICK, November 13th, 1824. 

If procrastination is the thief of time, letter-writing is 
quite as great a one, and I find the two thieves very closely 


connected. Some unexpected epistle arrives which is neither 
wanted nor welcome, but which must be answered ; or some 
other demand upon my hours is made, for which I am neither 
prepared nor willing, and then the intention which had been 
formed, of writing that evening to you, stands over for the 
morrow ; and when the morrow comes, other interruptions 
of the same kind occur, and prevent me from passing an hour 
according to my wishes. 

In reply to your letter, thank Mr. St. Barbe in what 
manner seems best to you, for Pope's letter, which I shall be 
very glad to have. Take for your own collection as the first 
which has turned up a note of Charles Lamb's, relating to a 
review of Wordsworth's Excursion written by him at my request 
for the Quarterly, and inserted there, but so mangled by Clifford 
as to be absolutely spoiled. It will go very well in the frank, 
and I will send you others as I meet with them. 

Cuthbert is now in the very honeymoon of his happiness, 
having just been breeched; breeching, as I tell Sara, being 
to a boy what marrying is to a young lady, the great thing 
in life which is looked on to, and I ask her seriously which she 
thinks the greatest happiness. I wish you could see Cuthbert ; 
during dinner he lifts up his pin-before to look at the buttons. 
It is pleasant to see him, and yet the change is not one which 
brings with it any cheerful thoughts, for it takes away the 
charm of childhood, and what charm is there in this world 
equal to it ! 

Landor has sent over another volume of Conversations to the 
press. Differing as I do from him in constitutional temper, 
and in some serious opinions, he is yet of all men living the 
one with whom I feel the most entire and cordial sympathy 
in heart and mind ; were I a single man, I should think the 
pleasure of a week's abode with him cheaply purchased by a 
journey to Florence, though, pilgrim-like, the whole way were 
to be performed on foot. The title of his book reminds me 
of Lord Byron's Conversations as let off by his blunderbuss 
Captain Medwin. I have only seen some newspaper extracts. 
I fastened his name upon the gibbet (as I told him) ; his friends 


have now exposed him there in chains. I am told there is no 
mention of my correspondence with Shelley. Shelley probably 
kept it to himself. Miserable men that they were both scr~~ 
gifted and so guilty ! 

Since my last I have not composed any verses except a few 
stanzas of the Paraguay, which is the plague of my life, but I 
have been getting on with the History and the Dialogues. Grod 
bless you, my dear friend. 

Yours faithfully, 



BUCKXAND, November 13^, 1824. 

Pray give me some token that you are on this side Heaven, 
dear friend ! I am rather disquieted at your long silence ; the 
more so, as when you wrote last Cuthbert was only then recover- 
ing from a serious illness. Tell me you and all yours are well, 
and then I shall have no further uneasiness than the fear that you 
should think me a little importunate. But you must remember 
that I live out of myself and my solitary home, and so entirely 
in those I love and all that concerns them, that I am perhaps 
more excusable for taking alarm than those who are surrounded 
by friends and families; and all my social intercourse is epis- 

I believe, however, I should have waited patiently a little 
longer but for a piece of literary intelligence which reached me 
yesterday, at which perhaps you will laugh only when you 
hear it, if, indeed (as is most probable), you are not already 
better informed than I am respecting it. Have you heard that 
there is preparing for publication, under the auspices and 
patronage, &c., of the Duke of Wellington, a History of the 
Peninsular War? The thing is certain. It is much talked of 


in the higher circles, from whence the report has travelled 
straight to me in my no circle at all. But it surprises and 
annoys me, as I cannot understand what can induce the Duke 
to promote a thing of the kind, knowing and approving of 
yours ; and, moreover, I am not without apprehension that it 
may be disadvantageous to you in two ways by interfering with 
the sale of yours, and by causing him to withhold from you such 
documents and information as may be essential to the continua- 
tion of your noble work. Murray advertises your second volume 
for this month I see. Pray set my heart at rest on this matter. 
Farewell, and God bless you, dear friend. 


I have been staying for a few days at the Rose's lately, and 
read there a very curious and interesting collection of MS. 
letters, which is in their possession the whole correspondence, 
in their own handwriting and very voluminous, of Sir Charles 
Hanbury Williams and Catherine of Eussia while she was 
Grand Duchess, and before the death of Elizabeth. The 
greater part of the large subsidies England was then furnishing 
Catherine with, for the ostensible furtherance of political pur- 
poses, was lavished on Poniatowski through the very channel 
(Sir Charles) by which she obtained it from hence. 


KESWICK, November llth, 1824. 

Your news is new to me ; but it does not surprise, and can 
in no degree injure me. Indeed I do not think it will affect 
Murray's interest, who is the person interested ; for the intended 
work will prove a military history exclusively. The Duke 
refused to communicate any paper to me, upon the ground that 
he reserved them for such a work. He said that I should do 
as everyone who wished to make a popular work would 


ascribe more to the Spaniards than was due to them. In this 
he is mistaken. But the truth is, he wants a whole-length 
portrait of himself, and not an historical picture, in which a 
great many other figures must be introduced. By good fortune 
I have had access to papers of his of a much more confidential 
nature than he himself (I am very sure) would entrust to anyone. 
And I have only to wish the work which he patronizes may come 
out as soon as possible, that I may make use of it. For my third 
volume, in all likelihood, it will come in time, and then it will 
save me some trouble, for I may rely upon its authority in 
mere military points. This must be the reason why Murray 
announces my second volume so prematurely, when only twenty- 
six sheets are printed out of a hundred. I shall neither hurry 
myself, nor be hurried. And you need not be told that I shall 
everywhere speak of the Duke exactly as I should have done if 
he had behaved towards me with more wisdom. Let who may 
write the military history, it is in my book that posterity will 
read of his campaigns. And if there had been nothing but a 
military interest in the story, the Duke might have written it 
for me. 

Never, I pray you, suffer yourself to be annoyed by anything 
which concerns, or seems to concern me, as an author, for in that 
character nothing can annoy me. I go on, as I always have 
done, in my own way, endeavouring to do what seems best, 
according to my own judgment, with all diligence, and caring 
very little for any present opinion that may be passed upon 
my works. Like Landor, I am satisfied if I please ten persons 
who are competent to pronounce an opinion upon such subjects. 

You will have received a letter before this time ; but I 
write these hasty lines, to show you that I am not insensible to 
your solicitude for what you think concerns me. Would that 
you were within reach ! and yet I cannot wish you here at this 
time, when for the last seven weeks we have had the worst 
weather that I can remember for two-and-twenty years. 

I want to hear what the Monster* says to you. That 

* Blackwood. 


rascally passage concerning Sir Walter Scott which was can- 
celled in the London Magazine, beyond all doubt must have 
been written by Hazlitt. 

Murray is in water as near the scalding point as flesh and 
blood can bear it about Lord Byron. This it is to have any 
dealings with a bad man. 

God bless you, dear Caroline. 



KESWICK, November 26th, 1824. 

The inclosure,* as you will have guessed, is for Mr. St. Barbe, 
to whom you will give it with as civil an expression of thanks on 
my part as his civility deserves. Pope's handwriting I, literally 
speaking, should not have known from that of my aunt, Miss 

I reply thus immediately to your letter, that I may thank 
you while the impression is fresh, for the extract from Captain 
Medwin, of which otherwise I might long have remained in 
ignorance. Undoubtedly I shall notice it, and most probably 
as I did his Lordship's former attack by a letter in the news- 
papers, being the most summary method, and that also whereby 
the most extensive circulation may be obtained. Should you 
happen to have the book at hand, tell me if there be in it 
anything else which may seem to you to require any observa- 
tion on my part. There will be plenty of time for this, for it 
is of no importance whether my letter appear a week hence, or 
a fortnight, or a month. It is not for the sake of repelling an 
accusation that I notice these impudent lies, but for the sake of 
showing that those who have advanced them are impudent 

* An autograph of Southey, in exchange for one of Pope. 


liars. To what an extent they are so you, who have seen my 
correspondence with Shelley, know. I am only sorry you 
have not a copy of it, which you shall have one of these days. 
It would not become me to publish it while there are any 
persons living who would be wounded by it : as for such dead as 
those to whom it refers, I know of no respect or tenderness to 
which they are entitled. A dead dog is entitled to no more 
than a living one. It will come to light in due season. You 
remember Latimer's saying : " Well ! there is nothing hid but 
it shall be opened." 

Have you heard that Hobhouse printed a pamphlet in con- 
tradiction of some of Medwin's statements, which he has been 
prevailed upon by his friends to suppress, because it would 
certainly bring on a duel.* It seems he had given Medwin the 
lie there in plain terms ; but it is Lord Byron, and not his 
Blunderbuss, who is the liar. The Blunderbuss has only let off 
what it was charged with. And this I shall take care to say in 
my newspaper epistle. 

" Sick and alone" are sad words in themselves, and more so 
when they are so coupled. If wishes would avail, you should 
be well and here. 

Grod bless you. 



KESWICK, February 22nd, 1825. 

You have sent me one of the things in the world which I 
most wished to possess, and yet you say I shall not thank you 

* Miss Bowles writes in reply : " Hobhouse's suppressed pamphlet is not 
destroyed nor unread, and if the heroes are sharp set they may get up a 
duel yet." 


for it.* Likeness enough there is ; I can perceive so much as 
to fancy it more. As to age, you are almost young enough to 
be my daughter, and for the other character which you give 
yourself, would to Heaven there were as little ground for 
calling yourself sick! No, you may be assured I will not 
send that drawing to Somerset House, not if they would 
give me the finest picture that ever was exhibited there in 
exchange for it. 

I have read the poem with too much pleasure and too much 
pain to speak of it.f True it is as a picture and a most inte- 
resting one, but as a prophecy true only, I trust, in the general 
truth that death is never far from us. You are lonely, God 
knows ; yet, if you could know how often I was with you in 
thought, you would feel that there is one person in the 
world who regards you as you ought to be regarded as you 
would wish him to regard you. How difficult is it when we 
mean a great deal, not to say either too little or too much. 

I am acquainted with Mr. Wilberforce, but have neither 
seen nor heard from him since the Book of the Church was 
published. The Bishop of London has written to me saying 
he hopes to see Mr. Butler's "flimsy structure of misrepresent- 
ation and sophistry " overthrown by my hand. Some progress 
is made in my reply, and more it would have been if I had not 
been more worthily employed upon the Tale of Paraguay. I 
hope and believe that another week will not elapse before that 
is completed. Indeed there can hardly be more that ten stanzas 
to write. "When the last is written I will write off to you in 
pure joy to announce my deliverance, for a deliverance it will 

In my last letter I ought to have said, that should you be 

* In a letter of Feb. 17, accompanying a drawing which included her 
own figure, Miss Bowles writes " The drawing of a little group very fine, 
very scientific as you will see, but two of the figures are faithful portraits, 
and for the third one can't make such a little thing look sick, old and 
ugly like, that is. Don't send it to Somerset House." 

t A poem by Caroline Bowles which she describes as "a doleful ditty, 
but all true." 


going anywhere for change of air or to drink the waters at 
the time of my movement, wherever that may be, I will take 
that place instead of Buckland in my course. So you are not 
to make any derangement in your plans on my account. See 
you I will, and the thought of seeing you, reconciles me more 
than anything else that I look on to in leaving home. 

One word more. I have marked in my note-books from 
time to time such stories or hints for stories as in the course 
of my multifarious reading seemed fit for ballads or other tales 
in verse. If you will try your hand at them, you shall have as 
many as would make a capital collection for Azor.* 

Dear Caroline, Grod bless you. 




KESWICK, February 24^, 1825. 

I promised you a gazette extraordinary, and here it is. 
This morning the Tale of Paraguay was finished. If I thought 
that any other poem would give me half the trouble that this 
has done, I should forswear verse rather than encounter it. 
Here have I sat, working at it doggedly, not following the- , 
natural course of thought and feeling, which always leads one 
the best way, and generally the shortest, but zig-zagging after 
the rhyme, selecting words not because they were the fittest, 
but because there were four of them which would chime 
together, and abusing my own fool's-head for getting with 
open eyes into such a scrape. For what the difficulty would 
be I very well knew from the first. Finished, however, it is, 
and never was man more glad of his deliverance. 

If you were near enough I would call you in to " rejoice 

* i. e. Blackwood. 


with me "; but as that is not the case, you will be glad at a 

Grod bless you. 



BTJCKLAXD, February 27th, 1825. 

How delighted I am that you set so much value on that 
thing which (after it was gone) I would have recalled if pos- 
sible. But I need not have so repented ; you received it 
in the same spirit in which it was sent, and in that confi- 
dence it is I always write to you without taking thought, 
knowing I address one who can understand me, and will 
never mark unkindly what would be ridiculous or amiss to 
other people. 

You are not to feel any painful interest in that little poem. 
The loneliness, I speak of there, is not, will not be desolate 
loneliness while you think of me as you say you do, and some- 
times tell me so, as you have done. And for the prophecy, 
those are not my darkest moments when I anticipate its pro- 
bable fulfilment. On the contrary, a feeling of security is 
mine at such times which I cannot always command of 
security that I shall not outlive all that makes life still desir- 
able. I seem to have stepped over a great gulf dividing me 
from my early years and from my early friends. My wish 
would have been, I think, not to overstep it, not to have gone 
further. But you met and took me by the hand on the brink 
of that dreary, unknown country ; I found in you what I had 
never met with, even in my lost Eden, and while you hold me 
fast I shall not want courage to go on, nor inclination to tarry 
yet a little longer should it be Grod's pleasure. 

At present I am disposed to be very much in love with 


life, and very unwilling to leave it before May. I had no idea 
whatever of moving from home at that time, and I would not 
for the world receive your visit anywhere else, because your 
having been here (even for that visit volant you prepare me to 
expect) will leave a brightness over many succeeding months, 
and I, as well as you, converse with shadows. If it were 
good and pleasant for yourself to stay some length of time here 
how hard I would try to keep you ! but what is best for your- 
self, that shall be best for me, so come without fear of perse- 

I have just got Butler's book. My motive for asking if 
you had heard from Mr. Wilberforce was, that I had just 
received a letter from a friend of his (who had been with him 
the day before) which says, speaking of your Book of the 
Church : " Mr. Wilberforce is delighted with it, but regrets 
Dr. Southey's not having given his authorities." Knock them 
down flat with authorities in your answer to Butler. 

Grod bless you, best friend of mine. 

Yours affectionately, 



KESWICK, March loth, 1825. 

I spent the last week at Wordsworth's, mostly (for [the 
ground was covered with snow two days, and then we had two 
days' rain to clear it away) in extracting from good, old, out-of- 
the-way books, pills for Mr. Butler, some of which will be bitter 
on the palate but very wholesome if he allow them to operate 
fairly. Your character of his book is drawn with perfect truth. 
My uncle says of him, " His contradicting you and saying that 
you misstated facts, may have the same answer as Warburton 
gave to one of his antagonists it may be so for all he knoivs of 


the matter." My reply is gone to the press, and in the course 
of a week I shall probably have the first proof-sheet. I am 
as civil as he is at the beginning ; but as for the spider's web 
which he has spun, I demolish it without mercy. 

It was my intention to have written to you from Rydal, 
but what with this employment, with consulting Wordsworth 
upon what I had written of this reply, and making some alter- 
ations in it, hearing some of his poems which he is about to 
insert in a new edition of his works, and with the interrup- 
tion of company, the time was fully taken up. 

I ought not to set mournful subjects before you, but here is 
one I took from the Acta Sanctorum, as the subject for a poem, 
three and twenty years ago. 

In the wild times of Irish History, some four or five hun- 
dred years before the English conquest of that country, one of 
its petty kings was called Endeus, son of Counal, a youth pre- 
destined to be a monk and a saint. He had a kinswoman, 
Fanchea by name, who was an abbess, and was living in the 
odour of sanctity. Endeus returning one day from battle- his 
men singing songs of victory, stopt at her convent, where she 
stood in the gateway and forbade him to approach nearer, 
because he was stained with blood. He justified himself for 
defending the kingdom which he had inherited from his father ; 
but she told him his father was gone to hell, and he having 
inherited his sins, was in the way to follow him. Endeus took 
this very patiently, but desired her to bring out a certain maid 
of royal parentage whom she was educating, and give her to 
him to be his wife. Saint Fanchea told him to wait a .little 
while and she would presently answer him. She went in, 
called for the maiden, and said to her "You have now your 
choice ; will you love Him whom I love, or will you have an 
earthly husband?" The virgin preferred a heavenly one. 
Saint Fanchea took her into her own chamber, and bade her 
lie down to rest. She did so, and immediately died, as if 
she had fallen asleep. The saint then covered her face, 
brought the young king into the chamber, and uncovering the 
corpse said to him "Young man, behold the spouse whom 


thou desirest." Of course he entered a convent, and became a 

I think you can make something of this, which, though 
very monkish and very papistical, is, nevertheless, well fitted 
for poetry. 

I have another monkish story to the same tenor that is, 
showing that death is the best thing which is more singular, 
if it be not in some of its circumstances almost too puerile. 
Yet it impressed me very much. A Portuguese friar (a Do- 
minican), Bernardo by name, taught children to read and write 
in his convent at Santarem. There were two who used always 
to come together, and bring their breakfast with them, and 
they were regularly left in one of the chapels while Bernardo 
performed his office of sacristan. There they used to spread 
their napkins on the steps of the altar, and take their meal. 
One day one of them asked the infant Jesus, who was in his 
mother's arms above the altar, to come down and breakfast 
with them. The invitation was accepted, and the visitor con- 
tinued to do so every day, till at last the children told Bernardo, 
and complained that the Menino Jesus ate very heartily of 
their provisions, but never brought any himself. Delighted at 
this, the friar told them that when the Menino came to break- 
fast with them next, they should tell him he ought to invite 
them home to dinner in return, and their master with them. 
The Menino thought this reasonable, and fixed a day, but did 
not mention Bernardo. Bernardo, however, was not to be put 
off. He bade them tell the Menino (this is a term of endear- 
ment applied to a child) that, as they wore the habit, they were 
bound to observe the Rules of the Order. Obedience was one of 
those Rules, and their master would not let them go without him. 
The day came, Bernardo said mass, communicated with the chil- 
dren, then knelt between them before the altar, and there, with 
their hands raised in the attitude of prayer, and their eyes fixed 
towards the image, the three lifeless bodies were found. This 
is told as a true story in the history of the Dominican Order in 
Portugal by F. Luiz de Sousa, a most highly esteemed writer. 
And if you were here to read it with me in Portuguese, and see 


how beautifully he has told it, I think you would fall in love 
with the story, as I did some four or five and twenty years ago.* 

I should tell you that this Convent at Santarem is the 
holiest of all holy ground, for the departed friars have been 
seen to go in procession round the cemetery, bearing tapers, at 
midnight (two kings have seen them), and when a grave is 
opened there a perfume comes out more delightful than art can 
imitate, or nature produce. 

Dear Caroline, take these for the present. I will look out 
others in a different tone. If you like them I am quite certain 
that you can pitch them in the proper key, and make the most 
of them. Perhaps the latter is too puerile in some of its 
circumstances. Yet if it be told thoughtfully, and introduced 
as a legend which is fully believed in its own country, the 
objection may be removed. However, I will send you choice 
of subjects, and enough to make a volume. 
Dear Caroline, farewell. 

God bless you. 




1, HAELEY STREET, July 21th, 1825. ' 

I am arrived here well in body, but not so sound of limb 
as I had hoped. My foot, though nearly well to all outward 
appearance, requires rest, and is something the worse for the 
journey from Holland, and for two nights in the Ostend steam- 
packet, where it was impossible to take off my clothes and 
attend to it. Very, very unwillingly, therefore, my journey 
into Hampshire must be given up, and I must travel homeward 
by day stages. Night-travelling will not do for me till the 

* The story is told in graceful verse by Caroline Bowles : " A Legend of 
Santarem," in The Birthday. 

G 2 


limb has recovered its wonted strength. This is a great disap- 
pointment, for, with all my eagerness to be once more at home, 
the prospect of seeing you was one of those things to which I 
looked on during my confinement with most pleasure. Next 
May I will leave Keswick before the cold comes on, and try 
whether a journey to London, with Hampshire for the farthest 
point of my travels, may not suffice to prevent it. This year's 
experiment has perfectly succeeded in that respect, and my 
general health is for a time completely re-established, which is 
not a little surprising, considering the length of time that I 
was confined to a sofa. 

Something I told you of the Bilderdijks in my letter from 
Leyden. There are a great number of what may be called 
domestic poems among their works. Some of these I mean to 
translate for insertion in the Quarterly Review ; and if I could 
get enough of them translated to form a small volume, it 
would gratify me quite as much as it would them. Perhaps 
you will help me in this design. I will translate the poems 
into prose as well as I can, and when I meet with difficult 
passages write over to Mrs. B. that she may send me the 
interpretation. They are poems (Mrs. B.'s) which always 
remind'me of you, in the feelings which they express. I mean 
to say that, under like circumstances, they are such poems as 
you would have written. Your lot has not been a happy one, 
and yet you have not such sorrows to endure as have been her 

Bilderdijk has been twice married. By his first wife he 
had eight children, all of whom are dead. By his present, who 
is twenty-four years younger than himself, he has had seven, 
and one boy of thirteen is the only survivor his life a very 
precarious one, his constitution being weak, and the place of his 
abode, and the want of exercise and playmates, unfavourable to 
it. The great disproportion of age can hardly be said to have 
alloyed their happiness, for never were two persons more 
attached to, or more worthy of each other. But the evil is felt 
now, when, at the age of forty-six, she sees her husband a man 
of three score and ten, and has the prospect of widowhood close 


before her. He found her in England when he came over to 
join the Stadtholder in his exile. She had lived here from 
three or four years old, had forgotten her own language, and 
was writing English verses, which I could not prevail upon her 
to show me. Upon becoming attached to him she resumed her 
own language, and the Dutch have thereby gained a poetess, 
who would else have taken her place with another friend of 
mine in English literature. Whether she was handsome in her 
youth I do not know; but infinitely pleasing she must have 
been, for even now her countenance sometimes assumes an ex- 
pression which may be called beautiful. But you know it is 
always to countenance and expression that I look ; mere features 
without the right expression are no more to me than waxwork. 

Let me hear from you, dear Caroline, while I am in town. 
I shall Jeave it on Tuesday next. Before that time you will 
receive my poem. How much rather would I have been with 
you in person ! And yet I believe there never was an author 
whose character, in all its bearings, was more clearly portrayed 
in his writings, and that you will feel this in the Tale of 
Paraguay. Will you not like Bilderdijk the better for having 
translated the King of the Crocodiles ? 

God bless you, my dear, dear friend. 



KESWICZ, August 3Qth, 1825. 

I cannot tell you what Mrs. Bilderdijk's maiden name was ; 
it was never mentioned, and is not given in her title-pages, 
though it is usual to say born so and so after the name of a 
married woman. I therefore feared there might be some 
reason for this, and did not venture to ask what I wished to 
know. The portrait of Madame de Sevigne, in the edition of 


her letters published in 1820, is a most excellent likeness of 
Mrs. B. I cannot imagine anything more like what she must 
have been at five-and-twenty, both in features and expression. 
Her husband told me that she thought me very like what he 
had been twenty years ago; but as he had not been to the 
Promontory for a nose, there never can have been much resem- 
blance. What there was must have been about the eyes and 
upper part of the face. I believe, however, few men could be 
found who resemble each other so much in disposition, pursuits, 
and opinions. 

My books are not yet come, and I have not begun upon 
those volumes of his which I brought to England with me, and 
which reached Keswick on Thursday last. As soon as I can 
translate anything in verse you shall see it ; and some you 
shall see in prose, sent in the hope that you may feel inclined 
to versify it. I have urged them to visit me next year, and am 
not without a hope that they may come. But they are far 
from rich. All his property he lost in the Revolution, for his 
attachment to the house of Orange. They have recompensed 
him with a paltry pension of 1800 florins, about 140. Some- 
thing he gets by taking pupils during the terms of the Univer- 
sity ; by his writings very little, the profits of authorship being 
miserably little in so small a country, and in a language which 
has no circulation beyond it. But little as they are, they 
are of consequence to him. He, however, is contented and 
happy, and has the spirit of a prince, or rather which princes 
ought to have. 

My foot prevented me from going to meet Canning at 
Storrs. To say the truth, I was not sorry that there was this 
reason for declining an invitation which it would have been 
some trouble and some expense to accept, and which I should 
have had little pleasure in accepting. Unexpectedly Sir Walter 
Scott made his appearance there, and came from thence to see 
me. We had not met for about twelve years, and I found him 
greatly changed grown large, perfectly grey, and with the 
look of three-score, which is about five years older than he is. 
Lockhart was with him and his unmarried daughter. 


I have seen also my ally the Bishop of Chester since my 
return. He wishes my book to appear in time for the next 
session. I am getting on with it, and wish you were at hand 
to see it as it proceeds. It would amuse you to see how I have 
treated Milner, and how well scorn can supply the place of 

Dear friend, God bless you. 



KESWICK, October 14th, 1825. 

You will see a Paper upon Sara Coleridge's Bayard in the 
next Quarterly Review, and know from whence it comes. The 
reviewal of Paraguay is by John Coleridge. He tells me a 
good story concerning Murray, who had heard the poem much 
ridiculed, and supposed it to be good for nothing. One day 
when Coleridge called on him he said : " I took up your review 
of the Paraguay yesterday evening, thinking to request that if 
you did not much care about it you would pass it by. God, 
Sir ! I read on till I was quite affected. You have extracted 
some of the most beautiful things in tlie world. I was quite 
affected." And he proceeded to say " that Coleridge had 
begun too much in the way of apology." So it is, that as the 
wind blows the chaff flies. The tale is a good test for showing"" 
who those are who read a poem as they do a novel, not for the 
feeling or execution. It is almost like Wordsworth's Lucy ^ 
something which there are " none to praise," and " very few to 
love"; but then those few are worth all the rest of the world. 

My books arrived a fortnight ago. A son of my old friend 
Lightfoot, who happened to be here, and assisted in unpacking 
them, told his father he had never seen any man look so 
happy as I did upon that occasion. And I was as happy as the 


arrival of eighty-nine folios, and about as many smaller fry, 
could make me. The honeymoon is not over yet. 0, dear 
Caroline, what a blessing it is to have an insatiable appetite of 
this kind, which grows by what it feeds on, and for which food 
can never be wanting ! With such pursuits nothing is wanting 
to my enjoyment ; and the only thing I wish for is now and 
then the presence of some one who could fairly enter into nay 
views and feelings, and partake the interest which I take in 
such researches. But of all my friends, the only one who does 
this is my uncle, and he is in the last stage of bodily infirmity 
from old age, but with his faculties perfect, and his love of 
these things unabated. 

I am now writing doggedly for the Quarterly Review, that 
is to say, for the lucre of gain and the necessity of paying my 
half -yearly bills at Christmas. The subject is the Yaudois, 
which is interesting in itself, and not unconnected with my 
ecclesiastical pursuits. When this is done, which it will be by 
the end of the month, I must set tooth and nail upon the Penin- 
sular War, and fairly finish the volume. It is just half 
printed a proof is on the table now. The Vindicice go on 
well ; the better for this importation from the Low Coun- 
tries. I have just got through a sort of chapter upon the 
celibacy of the clergy, and the sort of morality (if I may use 
that word) which it has produced. When you read it you 
will be surprised to see what formidable creatures women 

Cuthbert, among other accomplishments, is learning Dutch 
in my way of teaching all languages which I know anything 
of, except Latin and Greek, wholly disregarding the grammar, 
or rather picking it out by use. We read Mrs. Bilderdijk's 
poems for children and the dialogues in the Grammar, which 
are always worth reading in old Grammars. And thus ten 
minutes' amusement in the day (for amusement, and not task- 
work, it is) will familiarize him to the idiom of the language ; 
and when we have done with Mrs. B. we shall enter upon 
Jacob Cats, the poet of all poets who has done most good-" 
to his country, and whose volume, in the good days of 


Holland, lay upon the hall table with the Family Bible in 
every respectable house. 

God bless you. 




KESWICK, November 2(MA, 1825. 

Two days ago I had a very pleasant surprise in unrolling 
the lithograph of our party on Honister Crag. It is a very 
pleasant memorial, and likely to be valued one of these days 
for your sake and for mine, when we shall be far off in our 
celestial journey, travelling, I hope, together. Will it not be 
delightful to visit the man in the moon, go from thence to the 
evening star with a wish, and make a trip to the sun as 
familiarly as we now might to the sea, and put ourselves upon 
a comet, instead of getting into a stage-coach ! 

Miss Fryer's likeness is very well preserved, and Dame 
Elizabeth also may be recognized by those who know her. 
John Calvert's back, too, is a good likeness, but the litho- 
grapher has uglified all the rest, and Kate and Bell dispute for 
which of them the ugliest of the two imps is intended. But it 
is happily caught and managed, and like everything that I see 
of yours, makes me wish more and more that we were near 
enough to set each other to work, and to work in unison. 

So you wanted the monkey, the parrots, and the pigs in 
Paraguay. I had two reasons for not introducing them. The 
first was, that I was sick to the very heart of my task, and deter- 
mined to put in nothing that should lengthen it. The other, that 
though these things might have been very pleasingly described 
in the second canto, they would have broken the simple, single 
interest of the poem in its better parts. What could have been 
done with them when Mooma was singing, with her arms and 


countenance raised as if she would fain have followed the voice 
which she had sent into the sky? I must tell you honestly 
that the real ground of that description is the pleasure I have 
myself in pouring forth " the voice which echo loves," and 
making a great noise indoors, out of doors, whenever I am at 
liberty. My woodnotes wild are as much beyond all other 
warblings as they are unlike them, and so you would acknow- 
ledge if you were once to hear a full display. Joseph Glover, 
the carpenter, who does our jobs and makes my book-shelves, 
says of himself : " I should be a capital singer, but the pity is, 
I have no voice ! " Now, I have a voice, but the pity is that I 
do not know one note from another, and know no difference 
between in-tune and out-of-tune. But it is such a voice, that 
whereas other people stop at Gr H, I go on to X Y Z, &c. 

Dear Caroline, you will perceive that this is not written in 
the worst spirits, and yet my spirits are not raised when I think 
of your loneliness, and the frequent accesses of illness, which 
seem to be the only things that vary it. Not a day passes that 
that thought does not come across me. Never was a creature more 
formed to be happy herself, and to make others happy, if For- 
tune had not in your case played strangely at cross purposes 
with Nature. At present it is only when I shut my eyes that 
I can see you ; in this the absent are like the dead ; but I shall 
see you, Gkd willing, in good substantial earnest, when May 
comes, and I take flight from my summer visitant. 

Do not be surprised at hearing that the lines upon Paul 
Burrard are published. I gave them to Alaric Watts for his 
Souvenir, having nothing else that I could so well give, and 
mended them a little before they went. My Vindicice will very 
soon be brought to a close, though I have got but half through 
Mr. Butler's book. I shall wind up at the end of the volume 
by bidding him good bye for the present, and resume the mat- 
ter, or not, according to circumstances. You will often smile 
in the perusal, which the Roman Catholics will not, for it is 
long since the old woman of Babylon has had such a carting 
as I am giving her. My second volume of the War will j list 
be completed in time for my start in May. Moreover, my 


Dialogues are in the press. Judge how happy I am with proof- 

God bless you. 




BTTCKLAKD, December 8th, 1825. 

For once (in return for your cheering, kind letter) I will 
treat you with a few notes less like a raven's than usual. I 
have been better lately, brightening up a little in health and 
hope, now and then feeling that there is enjoyment in life, and 
(since I last heard from you) now and then glancing forward, 
half fearfully, but still in hope, to another May which two 
months ago it made me sick at heart to think of. 

Your confession about that beautiful passage in Paraguay is 
delightful ; but you forget I have heard your " woodnotes wild " 
in perfection, I think, " The Bloody Gardiner," in the gloam- 
ing among the echoes of Borrodale, and at Waterend that 
pathetic ditty about " Tittymouse Bay." You never honoured 
me with a solo voluntary at Greta Hall. 

Thank you for telling me you had given that beautiful in- 
scription to the Literary Souvenir. I sent for the book directly 
for dear Paul's mother, who would have been painfully 
startled had she fallen upon it unawares. Coming from me it 
was a dear and precious gift. The additional concluding lines 
are beautiful, and perfect the poem ; but I am disposed to quar- 
rel with your alteration of one line the last in the MS. copy 
you sent me.* 

* " The original MS. referred to is now before me, and ended thus : 

' But who would join with fervent piety 
The prayer that saith, Peace in our time, O Lord.' 

The inscription as printed is on p. 174 of the one-volume edition of the 
Poems." (Note ly Mr. Warier.} 


Do tell me, if you can, who wrote that first article in the 
last Quarterly Review, and is Lockhart to be editor of the 
Review, as currently reported. I hope not ; let the " modern 
Athens" keep her Athenians. 

Yes, I hope we shall travel together that journey after 
Time ; but at present my spirit is far less aspiring than yours. 
It puts me quite out of breath to think of whisking about from 
star to star upon comets' tails. I have no great fancy for a trip 
to the moon (though I might find my wits there), and still less 
for a solar visit, though there is something sweet and alluring 
in the beam of the evening star. But, to confess the honest 
truth, my beatific visions are still fashioned very much after 
the manner of those of my childhood, when (about four or five 
years old) I acquired sublime conceptions of the joys of the 
blessed in heaven from the sight of a peep-show representing 
the Garden of Eden, all full of fruits and flowers, bright turf 
and crystal rills, beautiful birds and gentle creatures frisking 
around Adam and Eve in their bower of myrtle and roses. 
You may laugh as you please, but some such future paradise 
my fancy always represents to me, far better peopled indeed 
with those whose presence would make a desert Paradise. 

I have a new favour to ask of you you will think I am 
becoming an importunate beggar. Will you give me your 
Devil's Walk, that stolen feather in Professor Person's wing? 
Perhaps, if you have no objection to let me have it, one of the 
five young ladies would copy it for me, or set it Cuthbert for 
a writing lesson. I am charmed to hear the Dialogues are 
forthcoming. Will you ever get to Sherwood again? You 
must make your way through that wood. 

Farewell, dear friend : Grod bless you. 




KESWICK, January 4th, 1826. 

As many new years to you, dear friend, as you can find 
comfort and enjoyment in life, and not an hour longer. But 
may those years be many. 

You shall have The Devil's Walk whenever I can lay my 
hand upon the first rough draft, for I have no copy of it. It is 
probably in a great desk which is threatened every day with a 
new green cloth : in that case its contents must be turned out, 
and, amid the fearful accumulation of papers which will then 
be disturbed, I hope it will come to light. I will mark in it 
what stanzas are mine, and what Coleridge's. 

The article upon Pope (which has been sorely injured by 
curtailment) was written by the father of my fellow-traveller, 
Henry Taylor, a most remarkable person for strength of cha- 
racter, as well as for intellectual powers the sort of man with 
whom Cato might shake hands, for he has the better parts of an 
antique Eoman about him. I am sorry for Bowles, and the more 
so because the criticism has been written in perfect sincerity, 
and with the fullest conviction that its severity was deserved. 

The new number has a paper of mine upon the Yaudois. 
I am told it has been cut shorter to make room for papers 
which J. Coleridge might not else have been able to introduce ; 
for his successor I understand pays no regard whatever to the 
arrangements which he had made. This I am sorry for, 
especially as there was special cause for delicacy. I am in 
correspondence with the new editor, but whether the studied 
deference which is now assumed toward me, and the over- 
strained commendations which usher it in, will open out any- 
thing like a frank and easy intercourse time must show. Frank 
on my part it will always be, for frank I am by nature, and it 
may be said by necessity also. Never was any man less able 
to dissemble either his likings or dislikings. Of what use would 


it be to carry a lying tongue with a countenance which always 
speaks the truth ? 

Your criticism is right, and I will restore the line till I can 
remove the fault without changing the expression, for I will do 
all I can to improve it before it is printed with my intended 
series of Inscriptions. The inclination for verse seems to be 
returning to me, if I were not so overdone with engagements 
that I cannot afford time for it. Think how many mouths I 
have to feed and all from an inkstand: if there were not a 
blessing upon it, as upon the cruise of oil, it must fail ; but that 
blessing requires me to do my part. My hopes of ever getting 
the start of the world grow fainter as I grow older, for I am 
past the age at which it is truly said that those persons who 
are ever to enrich themselves are rich. But I go on cheerfully, 
in the full enjoyment of all that Grod has given me, and still 
finding as much pleasure in what is a business of necessity 
as if it were pursued for inclination alone. 

God bless you, dear friend. 



BTJCKLAND, January 8th, 1826. 

Am I " quite forgotten, and clean out of mind " ? Not 
with you I think, of all the world ; but it is very long, un- 
usually long, since you have given me any token of remem- 
brance, and though my faith fails not, my patience does. You 
can hardly take such accurate note of time as I do. Sounds 
are unnoticed in the cheerful bustle of the day, that strike 
loudly upon one's ear in the deep stillness of night. So it 
is with your life and mine. Circumstances unmarked and 
unimportant in your crowded diary are events in my mono- 
tonous existence, and a letter from you makes sunshine in 
winter. Can you be very angry with me for dunning you ? 


I never cared much about the opening of Parliament till 
now that it will be heralded by your Vindicm. Will it not ? 
Your article on the Vaudois is as interesting as I expected it 
to be. You never exercised your pen in a worthier cause, or 
more successfully. 

The Monster is going to publish my bundle of scraps this 
month. Indifference and silence have fought my battle for me 
brought him to terms that is, to publish only what I stipu- 
late for, instead of the thumping volume he wanted to make. 
There will be more than enough, but I can't furnish him with 
a title. All sorts of scraps have been hashed up in all sorts of 
ways, with all sorts of names. " There is nothing new under 
sun," that I can find out. 

Grod bless you, dear friend. Don't call me a torment. 



KESWICK, January 20^, 1826. 

Your last letter did make me angry, but it was with myself 
for not having written sooner. However, I was pleased that 
you had so written, and that by the time yours reached me 
mine had found its way to Buckland. I was also glad to hear 
that you and the Monster were again on amiable terms. If I 
knew what sort of medley your book was, I could try to help 
you to a name, though my talent lies rather in naming cats 
than books. It is always desirable to have a peculiar title : 
the meaning is of less consequence, because any title very soon 
ceases to convey any meaning more than the name of that to 
which it is given. For example, when we talk of As You Like 
It, what do we think of but Rosalind and Jaques and the Forest 


of Arden ? Upon this principle the Book of the Church was 
named; it puzzled some people, provoked others, set them 
criticising, which I did not care for, and talking about it, 
which I wished them to do ; and now it is merely the designa- 
tion of what could not well have been called anything else, and 
half a dozen works have been christened after it. 

The Vindication is finished. I have put the last hand to it 
to-day, except that there are still about four proofs to correct. 
You will I hope receive it in about three weeks, and probably 
you will look through it with more satisfaction than Mr. Butler 
will feel in the perusal. He will say it is a dreadful book ; for 
though there is as much personal civility as can be desired 
(and when I call to mind some parts of his attack I cannot but 
think more than is deserved), yet I have neither mealed my 
mouth nor minced my words. 

The printer of my Peninsular War has contrived to lose a 
leaf of manuscript, and sends me a proof-sheet with a gap in it,, 
and a query in the margin, as if I had neglected to send it. 
The hour's trouble which it would cost me to replace what i& 
missing I will not take, till I have made him look after what 
could not have been missing without great negligence. It m 
by special good fortune that I can replace it without much 
difficulty, as it happens to be a part which required rather 
more than ordinary pains, and rather a rough draft of it was 
made, which by good luck has not been destroyed, and by 
further good luck is legible, which my rough drafts of later 
years have ceased to be, even to myself, when they have been 
written two or three days. This is a bad habit ; and one which 
ought to be corrected, for it might prove very inconvenient, 
and there is no excuse for it. 

Will you think me very much at leisure, or very idly 
laborious, when you hear that I have just finished the 
volumes of Madame Sevigne's letters ? The book never fell 
in my way till I met with the last new edition at Bruges last 
year, and by reading in it for some half hour every day after 
dinner, by firelight, on the sofa before I take my siesta, I have 
gone through it, learning a few things which it is pleasant and 


may be useful to know, and having been much amused, and 
sometimes interested. It is some pleasure to see that in spite 
of all the profligacy of Louis XIV.'s court, aided by the 
Romish religion, and that irreligion which is its shadow, or 
its truly begotten imp, and constant attendant, there were yet 
in the very sphere and vortex of corruption so many persons 
who had original goodness enough to withstand these evil influ- 
ences, and retain the natural integrity and affections with which 
God had blest them. One thinks the worse of the times and of 
the national manners, but perhaps the better of human nature ; 
and certainly much the worse of the Romish religion, that is, a 
reader who did not know much about that religion would think 
the worse of it, when he finds such a woman as Madame Sevigne 
exulting in the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and sees 
the cat put her head out of the bag every now and then, 
when the nunneries are talked of. I cannot feel any liking 
for Madame Grignan, who, whatever she may have been as a 
daughter, seems to have been a bad step-mother, and not 
remarkable for maternal affection. "We might account for 
national differences if all men were made of clay, like Adam, 
for then the different sorts of clay might explain the matter. 
Flesh and blood are the same on both sides of the British 
Channel, but what a marvellous difference in the current of 
thoughts and feelings ! The truth, however, is, that there are 
but two sorts of people everywhere the good and the bad 
and a great many varieties between them. 

Dear friend, God bless you. 



BUCKLAND, January 28th, 1826. 

It is very pleasant, truly, to meet kind looks where one had 
expected (and deserved) something like a frown ; but then, per- 



haps, such lenient treatment encourages over-boldness, and here 
I am again, seizing upon a hint, and asking you for the title 
you say you might furnish me with, if you knew the contents 
of my volume. Why, it consists of such little poems as those 
I wrote in the two young ladies' scrap-books, in all moods and 
metres, and a few interspersed prose trifles, essays, stories (piti- 
ful concerns, I think, but the Monster will have them in). 
Most of these miscellanies have such affected titles as make one 
sick, and I find it very difficult to separate the peculiar from the 
affected. I can compose ridiculous titles easily enough, but it 
would not quite answer the Monster's purpose or mine to stick 
a fool's cap upon one's own candidate. 

I do not like Madame de Grrignan better than you do, and 
what is more, I do not admire Madame de Sevigne's maternal 
tenderness half so much as it has always been the law to ad- 
admire it. Elle Vaffiche trop. But her letters, her style, her 
amiable enjouement, finesse, and purity (for a Frenchwoman) are 
delightful. Madame de Sevigne was, I think, one of the most 
perfect fine ladies I mean as to fine taste, fine breeding, tact, 
&c. who ever adorned any court and country, and it is en- 
chanting to find this high polish had neither destroyed nor de- 
teriorated more valuable qualities. I have a French friend 
and correspondent, who would bear much comparison with, her 
accomplished countrywoman The Duchess de Damas Cruz. 
Pray, did Madame de Sevigne's letters please you better by 
fire-light than by any other light, that you have been taking 
such liberties with those precious organs given you for such 
useful and noble purposes, and to be treasured accordingly? 
You may as well blind one at once as use them by fire-light. 
See how sharp and dictatorial I can be. 

Lockhart, I hear, is to have 1500 a-year for his editor- 
ship is it so ? and, moreover, the lucrative sinecure office 
W. S. Rose has lately vacated. I sometimes wish you had 
succeeded Grifford. 

Do you remember anything of a certain Monsieur Pichot, 
who selon la mode actuelle has been making a pilgrimage 
through the land of lakes and poets, and tells everything he 


could pick up while admitted to their domestic circles a most 
laudahle and honourable custom ! I have a great mind to 
publish my visit to Keswick, not omitting the interlude of 
" Semid." 

Fare you well, dear friend. If pain has chained my tongue 
(a loss to no one), it has not fettered my fingers, you see, or 
overcome my gossiping humour. But I will let you off with 
one " Grod bless you." 


I have been " idly laborious " of late, reading through lots 
of old French Memoires, not the very old, but that series so 
historically interesting, extending from the reigns of Louis 
Treize to Louis Seize ; of these, the eight volumes of Mademoi- 
selle's (la grande Mademoiselle's) autobiography are to me infi- 
nitely curious and interesting, and Madame de Motteville's five 
form an admirable pendent for them. 

Eichelieu and De Eetz, and others of those times, furnish 
out altogether a very complete history, not to forget Bentivoglio, 
though I bring him in a la fin instead of au commencement. 
How rich the French are in Memoires! 


KESWICK, February 1th, 1826. 

Can I name your book ? Will " Solitary Hours " do ? or 
" A Woman's Portfolio " ? or " Autumnal Flowers " ? I have 
been luckier in giving Murray's newspaper a name, or rather in 
shortening its appellation, and called it " The Rip." Huskisson 
sent him word the other day that, if there appeared in it such 
another article as that upon the trade question, the paper should 
have no assistance from him. Murray tells this to one of my 

H 2 


friends, and says: " Fifteen years, Sir, I (he, John Murray) have 
supported the government, and there's a pretty message for a 
man to receive in this Land of Liberty!" It is long since I 
have heard anything so good as this the said John declaring 
at the same time that, if he had taken the wrong side, it was 
the ministers' own fault, because they had not told him which 
was the right. Dear Caroline, never let me be told that there 
is nothing perfect in this world. Murray is perfect in his kind ; 
and your Monster is a perfect monster; and a bookseller in 
general is perfect perfect as a hybrid animal can be, which is 
between goose and cormorant. 

This morning I took up Oliver Newman once more, and with 
a hope that when I get into the next book the interest of the 
tale will then lead me on. My Tale of Paraguay has not sold 
It was not likely to find many admirers, and even some of those 
who admired parts have failed to perceive how completely the 
execution accords with the design that the author has done 
nothing which he did not intend to do, and left nothing undone 
which he intended. 

If I were at leisure, I verily believe I should produce a 
Spenserian poem about as long as "The Castle of Indolence," 
upon the notion of Sir Oleoso the Butler, coming forward as 
the champion of a lady's virtue, who is clothed in purple and 
scarlet. Some odd thoughts for such a satire, which might 
at once grave and playful, have been running in my head all 
this day. 

I have read none of those Memoirs which are amusing 
you, but almost all the earlier ones. You are in the more 
amusing series. Where is there more variety, and more de- 
velopment of individual character ; less to admire, but also less 
to shudder at ; and yet, perhaps, on the whole more to put one 
out of humour with the affairs of the world and with human 
nature ? 

My paper upon the Vaudois, which pleased you because it 
was mine, has been much hurt by mutilation. I hope the 
account of Sceur de la Nativite's Eevelation in the next number 
will not be cut down in the same manner. It is such an expo- 


sure of impious imposture that it can hardly fail of produc- 
ing some effect at this time. 

God bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, March 25th, 1826. 

What sort of an anatomist your physician may be I cannot 
pretend to say, but if there had been more reason for his opinion 
concerning your pain in the head than I think there can have 
been, it was not the part of a wise man to have alarmed his 
patient, as he did you. You must know that for six months 
of my life, and in the nineteenth year of my age, my thoughts 
were turned toward the medical profession ; during which time 
I went through a course of anatomy at Oxford and read some 
medical books. I learnt just enough to have been a constant 
cause of disquietude and alarm when any of my children have 
been indisposed, and to apprehend the worst, oftentimes without 
cause, but sometimes with too much. And the only use my 
knowledge was of, was that it enabled me when writing Joan 
of Arc to kill men in battle in a scientific way, as the critics have 
lauded Homer for doing before me. I prided myself upon 
this (remember it was when I was just one-and-twenty.) One 
day walking in the streets at Bath, and telling my companion 
how I had killed the last man, and in what manner I meant to 
slaughter the next, I said, " I'll stab him in the back " : a man 
who happened to be passing heard the words, and looked at 
us with such an expression of astonishment in his face, that we 
both laughed honestly enough, I dare say, to convince him that 
no murder was intended. 

Mrs. Opie (now Friend Amelia) talks and thinks of fix- 
ing herself somewhere in this neighbourhood. Borrodale she 


thought of, but the Grange will suit her better, if the scheme 
takes effect, which it will hardly do beyond a trial. 

Milner, I am told, is dying, which I should have been sorry 
to have heard while my book was in hand. You give me credit 
for more management in that said book than was used in it. 
The truth is, that I had only looked through Mr. Butler's 
volume when I began to answer it ; and being urged on all 
sides to be courteous in reply, and, moreover, really liking him 
for that sort of happy good nature which constant prosperity 
has fostered, I wished to separate him from his cause, and kept 
all my hard blows for Milner and Giant Pope. But as I went 
on, and discovered some fresh instances of unfairness in every 
page, I passed, not less imperceptibly than naturally, into the 
strain and temper which took from you all fidgetty feelings,, 
whatever it might give to him. I have heard very little of my 
book, except from two or three persons who have read it, as you 
have done, with a personal interest. The composition, as you 
must have perceived, was matter of amusement. The perfect 
confidence which I felt made me in such good humour with the 
subject, that I could never be heartily angry with opponents,, 
who were so completely at my mercy. 

I am now half way through a paper upon the English 
Cathedrals for the Quarterly Review, being my ways and means 
for midsummer, a sort of miscellaneous essay, showing by the 
history of one Cathedral what sort of books concerning them 
might usefully and pleasantly be composed. My next paper 
will be upon the Jews : the Society for converting them will 
supply me with a text, unless I should find it impossible to 
treat the subject without bearing hard upon that not- very- wise 
Society; for in the chapter of accidents it has come to pass 
that they have laid me under some obligation, by affording a 
channel of communication with the Bilderdijks, in a way which 
I will explain when we meet in May. This I suspect is the 
greatest good that they effect at present with an annual expen- 
diture of more than 20,000. If this subject be laid aside, I 
shall take the opportunity which is afforded by a new edition of 
Baxter's works to write his life. 


Winter is returned to these mountains and they are covered 
with snow. 

God bless you, dear friend. 




April 18th, 1820. 

So Mr. Butler seems to have explained away one of your 
charges of unfairness, and you seem satisfied, and Murray is 
the scape-goat. By answering only half Butler's book at 
present, what a comfortable plea have you afforded him for 
waiting to take breath, and collect his astounded senses, and 
sort and unravel his tangled skeins of sophistry to strangle you 
with, when the time comes. And en attendant, just to sharpen 
his wits, there is Sceur Nativite ! an admirable Papist pendant 
for our Joanna Southcote. Soeur Nativite beats even Blanco 
White's heroines, though they were grand specimens. 

I anticipate much pleasure from your paper on Cathedrals 
a canvas which affords scope for the happiest creations of your 
brush, in outline and effect, and mellow colouring. But what 
can you make of the Jews ? " The Society " I mean. Nothing 
in its favour I am sure, if you tell truth, and that you cannot 
help. I am sick of the very sound of societies, committees, as- 
sociations, and all the joint-stock companies on religious subjects, 
to such extravagances do they proceed, and so is " the world 
gone after them," particularly the female part of it, always well 
pleased to find itself of consequence, and certainly an indefati- 
gable engine when set to work, and the wheels well oiled with 
flattery, which the saints of your sex supply very profusely 
and with good policy in the organization of their "female 
branch societies." One lady is President of this, another " Vice-" 
of that association then, what with Secretaries, Treasurers, 


Collectors, Tract-bearers, Expounders! Heaven have mercy 
on us ! all womankind is whirling round in a vortex of reli- 
gious dissipation and their energies once set a-going pass my 
comprehension, their unwearied activity of body and mind, or 
rather of animal spirits. Go where one will the subject is 
forced upon one. One lady's drawing-room is full of little 
charity boxes, placed here and there amongst the ornamental 
litter; another keeps a stall of trumpery knick-knacks 
"ladies' work" to lay her visitors under contribution; another 
asks you to work for her (audacious !), and then a whole bevy 
of damsels sit congregated together, pasting and painting, 
and sewing and gilding, and what not, to get up a booth for 
the next religious fair. All this pious activity is going on 
round me, and no wonder if it bewilders my brain and offends 
my taste, and, I hope, right feeling ; because when I see its 
ill effects on society, on domestic comfort, in the neglect of 
private duties, and the obtrusiveness of religious pretensions 
("serious views" as the fashionable cant has it), I feel sure 
" something is rotten in the state of Denmark," something un- 
sound in the foundation of these crazy castles. Lately people 
were employed to walk about Southampton with banners, beg- 
ging for the Jews, and directing folks to the ladies' repository in 
aid of the funds for their conversion ; and lately we had a fair 
here for something similar. Pray don't encourage this mania, 
or you will deserve that it should spread to Keswick.* 

I have just been reading in Cardinal de Retz of a Spanish 

* In his reply Southey writes " Nothing can be livelier than your 
account of the Lady Presidents, &c., of the religious pick-pocket associ- 
ations. In the Jewish concern the whole money thus received is merely 
wasted. The Bible Society must do some good, though immeasurably little 
in proportion to its pretensions. The various Missionary Societies are pro- 
ducing some immediate effect, and preparing the way for much more. With 
all these there is a great deal of fanaticism, a great deal of quackery, and 
not a little cant ; but we must bear with the evil for the sake of the good, 
where they are so mixed as, in these cases, to be inseparable. But as to the 
effects of the proselytising spirit upon womankind in private life, you are 
perfectly right, and right as to the principle which the tarantula bite puts 
in action." 


miracle which outdoes all you have brought to light of a one- 
legged man of Saragossa, who being employed to clean and 
feed the lamps of one of the churches, rubbed the stump of the 
lost leg with the oil thereof, till a young limb sprouted out and 
grew to perfect size ! I dare say you have met with this glorious 
legend somewhere. 

Where is "the Grange" near you? I do not not recollect 
such a place. I should not think dear quiet Keswick would 
suit " friend Amelia " for a constant residence. She has been 
too long the centre of a little circle of Cockney blues to thrive 
in the shadow of your mountains. Sad work she has made of 
her last publication, Illustrations of Lying, an excellent sub- 
ject, but requiring a finer touch than hers. She is radically 
vulgar in all her notions. And I am abominably spiteful, I 
perceive, and in a very gossiping mood this evening ; but please 
to observe that I have allowed you a longer respite than usual, 
from my most punctual correspondence, for which you are in- 
debted to a wearing pain in my side, which has made it dis- 
tressing to me to write for some days past, and now makes my 
scrawl more scrawley than usual. But if I do not write, you 
will not, and that deprivation I cannot voluntarily incur. 

The hawthorns in my garden are almost in bloom the May 
your welcome herald, and my prayer book is sure to fall open 
every morning first where that loveliest month of all the year 
is noted in the Calendar you will acknowledge it to be so, if 
only for the sake of your Edith May. 

I thought my little book (Solitary Hours) would have found 
its way to you before now ; but it has not, nor, in the shape of 
advertisement, into any paper, which seems to me a very nega- 
tive method of "promoting its success," with all that zeal and 
energy the Monster professes in its cause ; and I rather wonder 
at it, as everything he publishes is generally advertised for 
months in all the periodicals and newspapers. It matters very 
little, however, in my case. 

God bless you, dear friend. If I had "wings like a dove " 
which verily I sometimes long for, that I might "flee away and 
be at rest" they should bear me to-day to some of your haunts 


among the windings of Greta, or the mountain dells, where 
methinks there must be healing in the very air, and music, I 
am sure, in the voice of a friend. 


I wish Mrs. Lowell could see my anemones. Ask her if she 
would like me to save seed of them for her : she, I think, is 
the gardener amongst you. 


BUCKLAND, May 3Qth, 1826. 

The author of Oliver Neicman cannot find it in his heart to 
condemn me'for obeying a first impulse, a blameless one, though 
none of the wisest perhaps, which irresistibly urges me to say to 
him before he leaves England " God bless you for coming to 
see me." The words were in my heart, and on my lips when I 
parted with you, though they found no utterance, so my pen must 
convey them to you. I feel by what a sacrifice of time and 
convenience you have given me the highest gratification which 
can possibly fall to my lot, but I know at the same time you 
will never reckon as lost time the days you devoted to that 
charitable purpose, 

So having relieved a very full and grateful heart in as few 
words as I can compress its feelings, I bid you farewell for 
the present, praying God to be your guide and protector by 
land and sea, and to restore you in health and safety to your 
beloved family. 

Dear friend, farewell. 


* "Written after a visit of Southey to Buckland, and before his departure 
for the Continent. 



HABLEY-STEEET, June 2nd, 1826. 

Dear Caroline, God bless you. You have no reason to 
thank me for a visit, from which, short as it necessarily was, 
and therefore in part painful, I derived as much pleasure as 
it was possible that I could give. Be assured that whenever I 
come within the same reach of you, on my annual journeys, 
it shall not be a light cause which will prevent me from repeat- 
ing it. 

Something (among many other omitted things) I meant to 
have said about the Sherwood versification,* and the mode of - 
practice by translating or reversifying into it. You will see 
its structure in Dr. Sayers' poems somewhat more plainly 
defined than in mine, though I think there is more force and^ 
freedom in my own. What you have to remember is, that the 
common blank verse is sparingly to be introduced, and that 
the basis of the metre is the six-syllable line. You will very 
easily accustom yourself to the structure, and then you will find 
that it may be written with more ease than any other measure,^ 
as much sweetness and equal strength. 

God bless you, dear friend. I cannot promise to write 
before my return to England, for I have a Journal to keep 
which will require all the little leisure that travelling affords. 
About the 26th I hope again to reach England. Farewell, and 
God bless you. 

Yours affecionately, 

* The intended metre of Rolin Hood, the unrhymed verse of Thalaba. 



1, HARLEY -STREET, July 2nd, 1826. 

Dear Caroline, you will be glad to know that I am re- 
turned safely after a pleasant visit to my Leyden friends, and 
a pleasant journey ; that my expected attack, though not pre- 
vented, has been fairly kept down and subdued ; that I am in 
good health and spirits ; and finally, that on Wednesday night 
next I set out for Cumberland, hoping to reach home on Friday 

Now for the next point which will interest you my return 
for Parliament for the borough of Downton. Lord Radnor 
has done this without my consent or knowledge, solely on 
account of the Book of the Church. I never saw him, nor had 
any communication with him. The return is void, because I 
hold a pension of 200 a-year during pleasure. If this were 
not the case, I would not take the oath respecting the qualifi- 
cation. And if I were actually qualified, and no other impedi- 
ment existed, my inclinations, habits, and plain straightforward 
sense would determine me to reject the seat without hesitation. 
Therefore I will not frank a letter. You, however, may direct 
to me as M.P. till Parliament meets, till which time the Post 
Office will duly honour those two letters. The affair is singular 
and amusing ; and as it gratifies my friends, it gratifies me, now 
that I have done laughing at it. 

I bought books enough to fill a huge chest, the arrival of 
which at Keswick will make me happy for a week, and the un- 
packing of which will be a great joy to all the juniors of the 
family. And as many volumes are full of prints representing 
the churches, chateaus, &c. in the Low Countries, even the elders 
will be reconciled to this importation, though I begin to have 
some qualms respecting the danger of carrying any greater 
weight up stairs in a house which was certainly not built with 
reference to such a library. 


You will smile at hearing that I have found a Sister Provi- 
dence, whom I must take the liberty of introducing to Mr. 
Butler in the Quarterly Review. 

I dine to-day at the Bishop of London's, who is very kind 
to me at all times, and who urges me to go on with my Vindicice. 
To-morrow I pass at Streatham with my uncle, and under the 
apprehension that I shall hardly see him again a feeling 
which I painfully experienced at parting from Bilderdijk. 
Life is so full of partings, that when one thinks of it there 
is a temptation to wish one's self at the journey's end. 

But I am going home, to be at rest I trust, and get my 
after-dinner sleep and to be cool and to be clean and to write 
prose and also to write verse, and go on the lake and into the 
lake, and play with the cats, and talk nonsense with the children, 
and learn Dutch with Cuthbert, and receive proof-sheets, and rub 
through life as smoothly and pleasantly as I can.* If I could 
have you within sight I -would not ask Fortune for much more. 

God bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, October 2nd, 1826. 

I am going this day, very much against the grain, to Low- 
ther, where I go so seldom that I have a sense of discourtesy 
and ungraciousness in declining so many invitations. The dis- 
tance, which is inconvenient for one who keeps neither carriage 
nor horse, and a great unwillingness ever to go from home and 
break up from employments, for which I have but little time at 
all times, occasion the apparent incivility on my part towards 

* Southey's expectations were not fulfilled. On his return he found his 
daughter Isabel seriously ill, and on a Sunday evening in mid July she died. 


a family who are very obliging in their attentions to me. Sir 
Greorge Beaumont and Rogers are there. They spent nearly a 
fortnight in Keswick, and I saw more of the latter than I had 
ever done before. He has won the hearts of my daughters by 
his quiet, pleasant, playful manner, seasoned with a little mali- 
ciousness, which sharpens his sayings, and for which those who 
are wounded by it make him suffer in kind. 

Some weeks ago, when I was fit for no other employment, 
I performed the melancholy one of arranging the correspond- 
ence of some five-and-twenty years. In so doing, among other 
buried papers, there came to light the original scrawl of "The 
Devil's Thoughts," for which you once asked me, and which at 
that time I looked for in vain. In some idle hour I will tran- 
scribe it for you. I found also a register of some fantastic 
dreams, noted down, as you may well suppose, not supersti- 
tiously, but for their strange combinations. The use of having 
kept such a register I felt when writing the Vindicice, and had 
very often regretted the loss of these few but curious pages.* 

My papers, dear Caroline, will afford rare picking when I 
am gone. Henry Taylor, my companion on both my Dutch 
expeditions, will take the charge of putting them together 
according to the directions which I may leave. There is no 
one connected with me to whom the office could be entrusted, 
and he has, to recommend him for it, sufficient abilities, personal 
acquaintance, and goodwill. 

I should like to show you a letter which I have received 
from an American poetess a widow telling me how she has 
been crossed in love. 

I may perhaps bid farewell in rhyme to the letters M. P. 
Let me hear from you, and never be withheld from writing 
because I have not written. A letter from you is always wished 
for, and always welcome, if it did but bring better tidings of 
your own health. 

Dear friend, God bless you. 


* See Appendix to the present volume. 




KESWICK, December llth, 1826. 

The best thing I can do about the Devil's Thoughts (for 
that is the original title of the poem) will be to put in some- 
thing [about Person himself, and the impudent story which 
makes him the author.* No sooner said than done, for the 
intention having arisen, as soon as I put pen to paper for the 
purpose of writing to you, with that same pen the following 
stanzas were rough-shaped. They will, I dare say, come into 
better form hereafter : 

As he went along the Strand, 

Between three in the morning and four, 

He saw an odd-looking person, 
Who reel'd from Perry's door. 

And he thought that all the world over 

In vain for a man you might seek, 
Who could drink more like a Trojan, 

Or talk more like a Greek. 

But if anyone had told him 

It would one day be matter of talk, 
That this erudite bibber had written 

The story of this Walk, 

Why, that whosoever first said so 

Told a swinging lie 
Is what the Devil would have thought, 

And so say I. 

* Miss Bowles had urged Southey to publish The Devil's Walk as his 
own, and so set at rest the question of its authorship. In a subsequent 
letter (December 21st, 1826) he sends a number of new stanzas, including 
that beginning 

" A peeress drove by in her pride," &c. 

It is a likeness, and so good a one that I should not like it to get abroad, 
for it would certainly be recognized." On December 31st he sends the lines 
describing Irving : 

"With gestures and throes, and ahs ! and ohs ! 

Far famed his flock for fright'ning, 
And thundering with his voice, the while 
His eyes zig-zag like lightning." 

" Your favourite poem gets a little tinkering every now and then, so that 


If Person had been alive the verses should have carried a 
sting with them, for I have heard that he was inclined to take 
credit for this poem, though he had not the effrontery to claim it. 

And now that I have begun with doggrel, you shall have 
some more. They are verses which are to be sung instead of 
said, composed upon occasion of some circulating letters solicit- 
ing subscriptions to all sorts of works by the writer, who hap- 
pened to have a name which rendered him capable of the sort 
of immortality he deserved: 

Mr. Frizzel, Mr. Frizzel, 

You may whistle, you may whistle, 

Long enough, long enough, 
Ere I answer your epistle. 
For want of asking, you 
Will lose nothing, it is true ; 
And it plainly may be seen 
You succeed among the green ; 
But however you may try it, 

Mr. Frizzel, Mr. Frizzel, 
You will get nothing by it 

From me, who am grizzle. 
Cunning shaver though you be, 
With your puff and flummery, 
You shall never frizzle me, 

Mr. Frizzel, Mr. Frizzel. 

I know not when the Devil will fairly be laid. It now contains forty-nine- 
stanzas, thirty of which have now been added, and four of the others [re- 
written?] since it was first written and printed. . . . The subject is 
not one which would suit Cruikshank ; his grotesque ought always to be' 
supernatural ; there he has no equal ; but when he deals with mere huma- 
nity his caricature becomes coarse. I have tales in store which he ought 
to embellish, if I had but time to write them." In a letter of January 30th, 
1827, Southey writes : " Do not think that I overlook the lawyers ; there is 
a stanza about them, alluding to Cain and Abel ; but I have that to say of 
them, in sober prose and severe truth, which will make the whole profession, 
as far as its members are professional, hate me as heartily as the Whigs and 
Roman Catholics do an z7-liberal profession ; and the first hopeful symp- 
toms of an improved state of public feeling will be when it is regarded so, 
and when a counsellor, who for his fee will defend any cause, right or 
wrong, shall be looked on as out of the pale of honourable society. You. 
know I gave the Court of Chancery the name of ' Eldon Hole.' " 


You may praise and puff, 
Or take it in snuff, 
And set up your bristle 
As sharp as a thistle, 
If you will, if you will, 

Mr. Frizzel, Mr. Frizzel. 
With my little money, I, 

Alack and well-a-day ! 
Have so many fish to fry, 

That whatever you may say, 
I shall not be taken in 

To frizzle it away. 
Mr. Frizzel, Mr. Frizzel, 
I am grizzle, I am grizzle, 
And therefore you may whistle 

Long enough, long enough, 
Ere I answer your epistle. 

The printer has delayed my second volume ; it will be a 
week before his work is completed, and in another, I suppose,, 
the book will be abroad. 

God bless you, dear friend. 



BUCKLAND, December 25th, 1826. 

I set you thinking of the Devil ! * 

Fie, sir! fie! 

Pray, was it I 

Gave you those curious particulars, 
All so authentic and new, 
About his red waistcoat and breeches blue, 

Southey had written on a slip of paper 

" Who set me thinking of the Devil ? 

You did, you, 
Caroline, Caroline ; 
Yes, it is true. R S." 


And that elegant whisk of his tail, 
Or, as Leigh Hunt would call it, 
"That jaunty swale ?" 

You must have been 

I won't say where, 
To take such notes 

Of his dress and air ; 
And then to say it was I 

Set you thinking of the Devil ! 

Fie, sir! fie! 

The fact is 'twas little I knew 
(Poor innocent I!) of the old Buggaboo, 
Till that wonderful picture you drew, 
Which beats Mister Fuseli's out and out, 
That all the world made such a rout about 
(You know best where you stood, 

While taking the view) ; 
But ever since I saw it, 

By all that's true ! 
I never think of the Devil 
Without thinking of you ! 

Your affectionate friend, 



KESWICZ, February 21st, 1827. 

lam as busy in getting forward the third volume of the 
Peninsular War as any man need be, can be, or ought to be ; 
and in the course of ten days I hope to have it in the press, 
with the full intention of completing it by Christmas. The 
materials which I have collected for it, and which have never 
seen the light, are very copious and good ; but most of them 


were transcribed so long ago that I must have the trouble of 
again making myself master of their contents before they can 
be arranged. However, the whole work which lies before me 
here is easy and pleasant, and the first proof-sheet will put me 
in good spirits. 

Captain Bruce wrote to me on the 10th from ship-board, off 
the Nore. I like him dearly, and the better because he writes 
earnestly and affectionately about you. He says that you 
brood over your affairs too much, that he is quite distressed at 
it, and that this is the only thing he regrets in leaving Eng- 
land. And he asks me to write to you and endeavour to com- 
bat this. Alas ! I fear that uneasy affairs are like uneasy 
feelings, not to be got rid of, though] the spirit should be will- 
ing. But that you do not give way to despondency, that you 
have a buoyant spirit, I believe. If the distance were not so 
fearful, for one who cannot take seat in a mail-coach, to be 
trundled along, day and night, like a coach parcel or a basket 
of game, to the journey's end, I would prescribe a summer and 
autumn here as the best remedy for ill spirits and ill health. 
Is it quite impracticable? 

To-day's post has brought the news of Lord Liverpool's 
death-stroke, politically, if not naturally. It is a great public 
calamity, though if the life and talents of any individual are 
essential to the designs of Providence, Providence, we may be 
well assured, preserves him. A crisis, however, in the cabinet 
must, I think, be brought about by this unexpected shock. I 
heard some weeks ago more than was good of intrigues for 
forming a Catholic Administration. But Canning's own health 
is broken. At the time of Lord Londonderry's death, I know 
that his friends (Canning's) thought one harassing session of 
Parliament would destroy him, for he was then kept up by the 
regular use of opium and the warm bath. A session of fair 
weather saved him ; but it is now squally again, and indeed he 
has been brewing storms for himself, which he will not find it 
either pleasant to ride in or easy to direct. 

I too have had a loss, and one which cannot be supplied, 
in Sir George Beaumont, a most amiable and excellent man, 

I 2 


with whom I had been acquainted more than twenty years, 
till that acquaintance had ripened into a cordial esteem and 
liking, which might almost be called friendship. If he were 
in London when I went to town, his house was one of the first 
to which I went after my arrival. This place he was very fond 
of, and enjoyed it never more than when he lodged here for 
several weeks last autumn. I parted from him at Lowther, 
and could have thought that, though twenty years my elder, 
his was the better life. Lady Beaumont has written to me 
since his death ; she bears the bereavement with great fortitude 
at present, but it is an utter bereavement, for she has no object 
of affection left. This is her first sorrow, after a union of fifty 
years, and it will last till the end of her days, which, consider- 
ing her excellent constitution, may yet be far distant. 

So every year takes something from us ! What will this 
take ? I had better say what it will bring in the way of good, 
and I know nothing better than that it should bring you to 

God bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, April 5th, 1827. 

Do you remember saying something to me in a letter, some 
two years ago, about the share which the ladies took in the 
Joint-Stock Religious Societies of the day? It pleased me well 
at the time, and I fitted it the other day to a note for my Dia- 
logues, putting only a where the word Southampton stood, 

that it might not be known in what part of England my lively 
correspondent lives. 

That Paper which offends you by its attack on Smith (andr 
which I have not yet seen) is written by a young man whom I 


introduced to the Quarterly Review. H is his name. He 

works as a law scrivener with his father in Carey-street, and 
has every possible disadvantage of education and circumstances ; 
added to which his manners are far from pleasing, and he takes 
no pains to conceal an opinion of his own talents, which appears 
inordinate to all who are not willing to rate them as they really 
deserve to be rated, and which is more likely to give offence 
than to find sympathy or to excite pity. Lockhart was dis- 
gusted with it, but I suspect that he has taken him into favour 
upon the score of this very attack on Smith, for he has bespoken 
from him a continuation of the subject, with a retrospect to 
Scott's earlier novels. 

My plans for the season of the hay-asthma are these : I 
shall leave home the second week in May, for about a week's 
rambling with Wordsworth in a part of this country which I 
have never seen, which is Furness, with the vale of the Duddon 
and the lower part of the Esk. My whole family will join me 
then at Kendal, with Miss Hutchinson (Mrs. Wordsworth's sis- 
ter), and perhaps Dora Wordsworth, and we go to Harrogate 
for a month, Cuthbert and all, in the expectation that it will 
be salutary for the girls, and a hope that the waters may also 
be useful to their mother. We shall visit the Caves and other 
things on the way, and return by way of Wensley Dale, thus 
including the finest objects in the West Riding. Had you 
been as much on this side London as you are beyond it, you 
might easily have met us there ! We mean to go into a house, 
not to be at one of the hotels, and we shall also come away 
before what is called "the season" begins. 

So much for my plans, which have at least this good, that 
they will not separate me from my family, and will give the 
younger part a great deal of pleasure. I shall feel the want of 
my books, and must be looked after, lest I should hang my- 
self in a fit of despondency. 

God bless you, dear Caroline. 




BFCKLAND, April 15th, 1827. 

Are you not afraid of making me too vain by grafting any 
sentence of my writing into a work of yours ? I shall be ready 
to sing when I see it. " Sure, says this little woman, this is 
none of I." Though I recollect writing something on the sub- 
ject you speak of, I do not remember what. 

There was another paper in the Quarterly Review which 
offended me as much, more, perhaps, than the dismemberment 
of poor Smith the attack on Milman, of whose poetry I am by 
no means an enthusiastic admirer, and least of all of his " Ann 
Boleyn"; but I hate malice and unfairness, against whomso- 
ever levelled, and I do think that critique a very malicious and 
unfair one. Shakespeare and Milman ! about as fair a com- 
parison as one would be between the full moon and an argand 
lamp ; and yet the lamp is a pretty thing in its way, if looked 
at without the proximity of overpowering lustre. I hope you 
did not introduce the writer of that spiteful paper, too, to the 
Quarterly Review. 

Half an hour ago I finished the last page of your second 
volume of the Peninsular War the most interesting book I 
have seen since I read the first volume. You have left off very 
cunningly at a point of the highest interest. I had no idea 
what a stupendous work was that of the Lines of Torres Yedras, 
though, parrot-like, I had spoken the words familiarly. I did 
not expect to have heard you speak as you do of Sir E,. Wilson. 
Surely you can neither esteem nor place much confidence in the 
man, however you may justly commend his military conduct 
in the affairs you notice in this volume. Alas ! alas ! what do 
you say now of the Spanish and Portuguese character ? Have 
not the people of both nations fallen grievously short of what 
was highly expected of them ? 

And what do you say to the chaotic state of our political 


world ? Mr. Canning has his hand on the helm, but how will 
he steer the vessel of the State through the straits into which 
lie has impelled her ? What a strange upset of old principles 
and old measures ! Now we shall have the Age of Liberality, 
if not of Reason. I heard (from a quarter I can rely on) that 
the very first words Lord Liverpool articulated after his seizure 
were, " Where is Canning ? Is he in the House of Com- 
mons?" In my place, I suppose, might have been the old 
statesman's first jealous feeling. 

I am glad you are to move early in May, and can well 
understand the comfort it will be to you to have all your dear 
ones with you. But will you cheat the catarrh so well by 
remaining long stationary at Harrogate as if you continued 
moving about ? I know your horror of locomotion, but truly 
I cannot fancy you a watering-place visitor, a pump-room 
lounger. I should as soon expect to meet an eagle sauntering 
up Bond-street. So surely as I cannot do what I like, I would 
if I could do what I like betake myself this year to Harro- 
gate, in the hope of being noticed by you and your family, and 
in despite of my horror of watering-places, and Harrogate 
water, which I smelt once, and that was enough ! But ifs and 
buts are the thorns of life, or rather its thorn hedges, clipping 
one in everywhere. Just now, however, in spite of ifs and buts, 
I am in special good humour with life, having had a spell of 
better health for the last week, and not one lawyer's letter or 
other grievance a rare halcyon season for me ! and I hasten to 
write to you while it lasts. Sometimes I think with myself 
that what you so truly remarked of Alaric Watts might in 
some sense be apparently applicable to me. For if I am not 
often quarrelling, I seem to be always complaining ; but you 
must not think me a willing complainer, though I acknowledge 
it is very weak ever to complain. But, indeed, I am weak, and 
the hand of God is heavy on me. Surely there are persons 
who seem set apart for almost continual suffering. I believe 
this ; but then I believe also, that in the end the balance will 
be made even ; and what will it matter then what weight has 
borne down the scale of misfortune ? Now, I am sure you will 


not call this a desponding faith, though my kind Asiatic friend 
could not understand it. 

The misery of a fretful spirit, which turns sweet to bitter, 
or mere scratches into wounds, is not mine, thank God ! So, 
concluding with this modest panegyric on myself, I leave you 
to assent to it, if you will be so good-natured. 

Your affectionate friend, 



KESWICK, April 23rd, 1827. 

The Paper upon Milman I have not read, caring too little 

for any such subject. But it is H 's writing, and I an 

sorry to find him addicted to ill-natured criticism,, which no- 
thing that I had seen of him would have led me to suspect. 
I have seen him only twice, and with a strong disposition to 
like him; but there was something about him that rendered 
this impossible, though I never saw greater or more unequi- 
vocal proofs of ability in any young man's writings. I know 
Milman, who spent a summer here some years ago. He was 
then a little spoilt by Eton-ism, and has since been more so by 
admiration, fashionable society, and prosperity. None of his 
latter publications have fallen in my way, and I believe he has 
done nothing to equal the promise which his Samor afforded. 
Cumbrous as that poem is, and ill-pitched in its style, it was a 
very hopeful production the more so for its faults, which were 
of the right kind. 

Sir Robert Wilson has, I daresay, been as much surprised 
as you were to see himself so fairly and so fully spoken of by a 
man who, he must be conscious, thinks very ill of his character 
and general conduct. He must be still more surprised at the 
accuracy of the statement, for I had the whole of his letters to 


Mr. Frere. The importance of occupying Ciudad Rodrigo at 
that time cannot be overrated ; the merit of the individual in 
doing so is a different consideration. I fully understood it at 
the time, and when I talked over this part of the history with 
Frere, I found that he estimated it exactly as I had done. 
Wilson was a dirty, moody boy when we were in the same 
remove at Westminster. 

The Spaniards and Portuguese are not fallen in my estima- 
tion, though I regard the condition of both peoples with com- 
miseration and sorrow. Those countries require a very different 
kind of reform from what their reformers are attempting to 
bring about. They want an able Minister, who would employ 
arbitrary power in making the laws efficient, and preparing the 
people for a constitutional government. At present they are 
in the worst state for any experiments. In such struggles as 
Spain and Portugal have gone through, the best and noblest 
spirits are cut off ; they sacrifice themselves in the first heat of 
the contest, and the actors who remain after such a series of 
events are left with blasted feelings, or, what is even worse, 
with hardened hearts. 

Six months ago I heard that Canning was intriguing to 
oust those of his colleagues who have now withdrawn, and 
form an administration with the Whigs, placing himself at the 
head. The only quarter from which I have received any infor- 
mation upon the subject speaks of the seceders as ill-used by the 
king ; in fact, as deceived by him till the very last. Living, as 
I do, in retirement, and having much less intercourse than I 
fomerly had with persons who are about the scene of action, 
it would be useless to speculate upon the course of intrigues 
which are now in progress. As for private concerns, I have 
nothing to expect or hope in any possible turn that affairs may 
take ; and as for public concerns, my reliance upon Providence 
is such that I look with perfect composure upon a state of 
affairs which, were it not for that reliance, might make me 

I go to Harrogate for the sake of the girls and their 
mother, all of whom, and especially the latter, need what I 


hope may be found there. It is a hideous place, but there are 
things within reach which will draw me out, so that I shall 
have change of air and exercise enough, and I reckon some- 
thing upon the effect of the waters. I shall miss my books and 
the quiet uniformity in which my days pass here. But even a 
circulating library will supply something, and, moreover, old 
books may be found at Leeds, and probably I shall put myself 
some morning into the stage for that city, for the purpose of 
bringing back a cargo in the evening. I have no acquaint- 
ances in that part of the country, and whether we may pick up 
any remains to be seen ; it is likely enough that there may be 
persons there who will be willing to pick up me. 

If I had been in London I must have attended to receive 
a speech with the Gold Medal, looked like a fool, and made a 
fool's speech in return. The medal will please my wife and 
daughters, and serve as something which they may show their 
visitors. So, as it pleases them, it becomes me to be pleased ; 
otherwise I could shake my head, and moralize upon the un- 
profitableness of such marks of honour. 

Grod bless you. 




KESWICK, July Wth, 1827. 

Here we are, Edith and Bertha the better for the Harrogate 
waters, their mother only better inasmuch as the new circum- 
stances there may sometimes serve to withdraw her from the 
melancholy and almost hopeless course of her habitual thoughts 
and feelings a sore grief, of which I never before said as much 
as is now expressed here to any human being, but which presses 
upon me more heavily than my bodily infirmities. 

Send to your circulating library for Isaac Comnenus. I 


may whisper to you that it is the work of Henry Taylor, my 
fellow-traveller of the last and the preceding year, and was in 
part written while he was waiting for my recovery at Leyden. 
You will find in it originality, and feeling, and genius. 

I have been letting Murray and his editor know that the 
incivility with which they have treated me during the last six 
months must be carried no further, and in consequence they are 
both my very humble servants. Still, however, it is uncertain 
whether I shall continue to bear any part in the Quarterly 
Revieiv. Murray is, as you may suppose, in a woeful quan- 
dary, not knowing which course it is his interest to take, but 
beginning to apprehend that it is the safest way to keep the 
Review in its old course. During the perplexity Lockhart has 
been in no very comfortable state ; the result I still consider 
doubtful, though Lockhart writes as if he thought otherwise. 
If the journal is to be guided by Croker's influence, and follow 
Mr. Canning's crooked path, of course I withdraw from it. If 
it keep to the better part, I have told the editor that my last 
paper, which he has so unceremoniously withheld, must be in- 
serted, and that no future communication is to be postponed 
from one number to another, and that this is the condition on 
which those communications are to be continued, for writing in 
any periodical work as I do only for the purpose of helping out 
the means of a moderate expenditure, " I can neither afford to 
waste my labour nor to wait for its wages." Upon this plain 
statement he is now chewing the cud. Meantime I have 
enough to do with the Colloquies, which from their nature 
occupy much time in the composition, and with the Peninsular 

Dear friend, Grod bless you. 





BUCKLAKD, July 3rd, 1827. 

Well I know there are griefs far heavier to he home than 
any hodily infirmity. If human sympathy could lighten yours, 
how greatly would the weight he lessened ! But you have bet- 
ter comfort, more efficacious halm, and I pray Grod to hestow it 
unsparingly upon you. The perpetual sight of constitutional 
despondency in one nearly and dearly connected with us is an 
eating sorrow one that hegan to prey upon me from my earliest 
recollection and has no douht cast its shadow over a temper 
naturally joyous. 

I had a visit yesterday from Mr. Bowles of Bremhill a 
very short one, for he had missed my habitation in the morning 
and driven past it to Milf ord and farther. He is looking re- 
markahly well, and appears to he in particularly good spirits : 
inquired much for you, and desired me to give you his kind 
regards. A strange story he told me, which, though he gave it 
very circumstantially, I can hardly give credit to that Lady 
Beaumont hearing (heaven knows how or where) that I "adored 
Mr. "Wordsworth," felt assured that she and I were "kindred 
spirits," and had decided to write to me, and propose that I 
should take up my ahode with her ; " which," said Mr. Bowles, 
" I strongly dissuaded her from doing, assuring her you were 
not likely to accept the proposition." No indeed I am not 
likely to do so, nor should I have felt much flattered by 
the motive of Lady B.'s invitation. Admire and delight in 
Mr. Wordsworth's noble poetry I certainly do. " Adore Mr. 
Wordsworth " I certainly do not ; and though I fear mine may 
be an enthusiastic and rather romantic nature, I never did or 
oould feel that sort of enthusiasm which seems now and then to 
make women forget they are women, and have some little femi- 
nine dignity and propriety to maintain, and have no business to 
run about the world "adoring" poets or any such golden calves. 


You know you could hardly send me to see Mr. Wordsworth 
even with your passport; and yet as far as respecting high 
intellect goes, I will yield to no one consistently with self 
respect. This effusion of dignified indignation will amuse 
you, I think ; but perhaps you are not [surprised ?] to learn 
that I can be a little bit of a virago. 

Grod bless you. 




KESWICK, August nth, 1827. 

Your story of Lady Beaumont surprises me, not so much 
at her having formed the intention, as that she should not have 
given me some intimation of it, and felt her way through that 
channel. She is an excellent woman, with a warm heart and a 
warmth of manners which even high life has hardly subdued ; 
very much of an adorer herself, but the more she is known the 
more she is to be esteemed for her sterling worth. I wish you 
knew her, and should be very glad if she invited you to visit 
her, and carried you from London to Coleorton. You would 
then be within reasonable reach of Keswick, and I would call 
for you there on my next return from the south. 

In half an hour I set off to meet Wordsworth and his 
family, Quillinan, and I know not who besides, at a lakeside 
pic-nic on Leatheswater, the half-way rendezvous between us. 
The weather is dark and cold, not, however, likely to end in 
rain. My cattle are now mounting the cart; I follow by a 
swifter conveyance, and have thus a scrap of time sufficient 
for making some [progress] in a letter. You will be pleased to 
hear that Murray has placed himself upon better terms with me 
than he ever had any pretensions to hold before. He took my 
advice concerning the Quarterly Review wisely, and accordingly 


there is an end of all vacillation there, and Sister Providence 
will exhibit in the next number, leading the way. 

August 18th. A party of strangers interrupted me yester- 
day, so little at this season can I reckon even upon half an 
hour early in the mornng. 

Garrick's letters I hear nothing of, and am very well con- 
tented not to hear of them. But it is settled that I am to edit 
General Wolfe's and prefix his life. In the way of editing 
there is nothing to do except adding a few notes, where there 
are any pegs to hang them on. The letters will be thought 
very worthless. The life can be little more than the story of 
two short campaigns that in which Louisbourg was taken, 
and that of the ensuing year in which he fell. With both, 
however, I can do something, especially as a sketch of Canadian 
affairs ought to be introduced. So if you know anything con- 
cerning Wolfe, help me to it. He was a man of heroic charac- 
ter, and in that respect has not been praised beyond his deserts. 
And he had the merit of being a disciplinarian at a time when 
the army was in its very worst state. 

Our yesterday's party went off well. We met, to the num- 
ber of twenty-eight, in a beautiful situation, and the weather 
could not have been more favourable for lighting up the moun- 
tains, while it was cool enough to make us enjoy a good fire on 
the shore. " There comes Burn em wood" said Mr. Barber as 
Willy Wordsworth was bringing a huge load of sticks for the fire ; 
upon which Mr. Quillinan rejoined "You shall not be called 
dunce inane for saying that." These parties always dispose me 
to melancholy, and that produces an effort for mirth. Too 
many of our enjoyments in this life are but bitter-sweets at 
the best ; it is a comfort to think and feel that the bitters are 

Dear friend, God bless you. 




BUCKLAND, September 3rd, 1827. 

I like the thought of your editing "Wolfe's letters and writ- 
ing his life better than your undertaking the same office for 
Garrick's. Part of Wolfe's family has dwelt in this neighbour- 
hood, for every Sunday, in my way to church, my eye glances 
on a tombstone, whereon it is recorded, that underneath lie the 
remains of Mr. William Burcher, "first cousin to the late 
General Wolfe ; " and I recollect an old lady whose maiden name 
was Burcher, one of the same family, the remnant of which is 
now, I am told, settled in or about a place called Saint Cross, 
near Winchester. I daresay I could glean some information 
in that quarter if you thought it worth trying for. Moreover, 
in a country-seat in this neighbourhood belonging to friends 
of mine there hangs a very fine oil portrait of General Wolfe. 
The owners of the place have let it, and have been long absent, 
but I know where to find them, and would ask any question 
about the picture if you choose I should. I have a faint recol- 
lection of being told by some of the family, many, many years 
ago, that General Wolfe was their relation, and the circum- 
stance of his picture being in their possession corroborates with 
that impression. I should not expect much from his letters, but 
very much from your relation of his brief and glorious career. 

I suppose, among all your multifarious avocations, poor 
Oliver Newman never gets a line now ; much less Robin Hood, 
and other things that I could name ; but the wonder is, how 
you get through even half your labours even the mere me- 
chanical part of them. I have sometimes suspected you must 
have a familiar not Mephistopheles yours is a good angel. 
I never could form to myself any idea of heaven, except that, 
being a place where sin and sorrow cannot enter, it must be one 
of blessedness ; but as a child I used to long to go to Paradise, 
my conception of which I had formed from^a puppet-show, 


where Adam and Eve were sitting in a bower of fruit and 
flowers, surrounded with lambs and turtle-doves. And in after 
visions, later on than becomes one whose mind should dwell 
more upon serious truth, I have dreamt how well worth dyingp 
for it would be, to be appointed the invisible minister of good 
to some one we have on earth cared dearly for. I suppose 
it is hardly possible to live as I do, so much out of the tangible 
world, without creating for oneself a world of shadows. So 
now you have a letter from the shades partly, and must excuse 
the lack of sense and reason. 

God bless you, my dear friend. 



[KESWICK, October, 1827.] 

You are a good and faithful friend, dear Caroline, ready 
for any service, and never sparing trouble where service may 
be rendered. Thank you for both your letters and their 
inclosures. The letter of General Wolfe which was inclosed 
has been printed in The Gentleman' } s Magazine : it is valuable 
for little else than for containing his opinion of Scanderbeg, of 
whom he had probably read in Knolles's History of the Otto- 
man Empire, a book which Johnson has praised highly (indeed, 
above its deserts), and which, on that recommendation, I pur- 
chased and read when I was a youth at Oxford. 

To-day I returned the proofs of the severest criticism which- 
I have ever written. It is upon Hallam's Constitutional His- 
tory, a book composed in the worst temper, and upon the worst 
principles. It contains even a formal justification of the mur- 
der of Lord Straff ord. I am acquainted with the author, and 
should therefore have abstained from this act of justice upon 


him, if he had not called it forth hy some remarks in his notes 
upon The Book of the Church, which take from him all right 
of complaint. You will see that I can be angry, not on my 
own score, because every attack upon that Book only serves 
to prove its strength ; but where there is a spirit of detraction 
and malevolence manifested towards those who are entitled to 
respect, and gratitude, and veneration, my blood stirs when I 
see them traduced, and the same feeling which brings tears into 
my eyes when I think of them at other times passes on such an 
occasion into an anger which I do not account among the emo- 
tions to be repented of. 

One of the first movements which I shall undertake after 
reaching London in May (if we both live so long) will be to 
embark in one of the steam-coaches, which are soon to travel 
upon your road, and be whisked to Southampton. But I will 
make it my last movement if you will muster heart and hope 
to travel northwards, under my care, and pass the remainder of 
the summer and autumn with us. Can you ? Will you ? 
Nothing is more likely to do you good than this mountain air. 

The verses which you sent Alaric Watts have been printed 
in the Standard, with a note (I suppose of his) saying upon 
what occasion they were written.* I put them into my wife's 

* The verses are those "To the Memory of Isabel Southey" ("The 
Birthday," pp. 187-189). Caroline Bowles writes (November 21st, 1827) : 
" Your letter was surely intended to convey none but pleasurable feelings, 
and yet it has caused me very acute pain. I have not heard of Alaric 
Watts and his Souvenir since last spring, when, on his application, I sent 
him those unlucky verses, which had surely not been composed for his book, 
or any other. Having them by me, however, I gave them to him, entitled 
' On the Death of a Young Lady,' under which vague designation I felt 
they could not suddenly shock you or any of your family, though I thought 
you would, as you read, adapt them to the occasion which had called them 
forth, and not be painfully affected by them. So far, I think, I was not 
blameable ; but I now feel that I was extremely indiscreet in mentioning to 
Mr. Watts, in the letter which inclosed them, on what occasion they were 
written." Southey writes in reply (November 26th, 1827): "I must re- 
proach myself, dear Caroline, for having led you, as I perceive I have done, 
into a mistake. The verses bore only the general title which you had given 
them, and the designation which belonged to them was given in a note with 



hand, and she expressed that sort of pleasure which deep grief 
is capable of feeling. The pain would have been there in any 
case : the gratification was so much gain. Thank you, dear 
friend thank you, thank you, and Grod bless you. 



BUCKLAND, November 15th, 1827. 

Never since you called me " friend " has your silence been 
of such long duration, and I am growing too anxious to wait its 
voluntary termination. If I find only want of time and leisure 
have prevented you from writing, I shall be heartily ashamed 
of this importunity, and will promise to scold myself; but do 
not you be angry with me, for indeed I am anxious. My last 
to you was a strange scrawl, but I had just been half choked 
with salt water, and quite killed with fright, in my passage 
across from Southampton to Hythe. I was thinking all the 
way over, when the waves gave me breathing time, " Now if 
this were to fetch Mr. Southey from Southampton (you know 
I took you there), it would be worth encountering." 

I will have nothing more to do with any Sister Providences 
you may please to bring out in future ; I was worse than sea- 
sick with the last, and could not even laugh, for shame at the 
degradation of human nature. 

a ' we believe.' There is nothing for which to blame yourself, and Alaric 
"Watts might very well be excused even if any shock had been given : no 
doubt he expected to gratify me, and had no apprehension of displeasing 
you. And, in fact, a gratification it has proved, in a quarter where I should 
never have had heart to have pointed out the application, even if I had 
made it. So all is well, and will be better if you will be thoroughly as- 
sured that I knoio you never would, never will, never can, act otherwise than 
wisely, and with perfect feeling, wherever feeling is concerned." 


God bless you, my dear friend. If you are too much en- 
grossed to write to me, just say so in one line (no bull that !), 
and that you are well, and that will content me, for I am not 
very, very, very unreasonable. 



KESWICK, December 21th, 1827. 

Thank you for the extracts, both which I shall be glad to 
use. Wolfe's correspondence during his last campaign with 
Monckton, who succeeded him in the command, has been offered 
me in a roundabout way by the daughter of the latter; and 
another stranger has enabled me, by the testimony of one of 
the last survivors of his companions, to ascertain that Wolfe 
was not dying of consumption when he was killed, which I had 
been led to believe. 

The poems in Wordsworth's volume concerning which you 
inquire are written by his sister a most excellent person in all 
respects. Indeed, no man was ever more fortunate in wife, 
sister, or sister-in-law, than he has been. There is no woman 
out of my own house (except one whom I shall not name to 
you) with whom I am so intimate as Miss Hutchinson, or whom 
I love altogether so well. One likes to see hereditary inti- 
macies, and, therefore, I am glad that Edith May has taken to 
Dora Wordsworth much more than to any other of her contem- 
porary friends. 

I did not see the lying account of Bilderdijk in the Morning 
Herald. He was no flatterer of Buonaparte. It was his busi- 
ness once, as President of the Royal Institute, to receive him, 
and Buonaparte on that occasion put this curious question to 
a person holding that rank : Etes-vous connu dans la. republique 
des lettres ? Bilderdijk looked at him, as he could look in those 

K 2 


days, and replied, Au moins j'ai fait ce quefai du pour Vetre. 
And these, I believe, were the only words that he ever addressed 
to him in any shape. Louis Buonaparte he was attached to, as 
all the Dutch were ; and he speaks of him with great affection, 
as a man of excellent disposition and the best intentions. But 
for Napoleon, he ever considered him as what he was an un- 
feeling and short-sighted tyrant. 

Grod bless you. 




KESWICK, February 2nd, 1828. 

A little man, who is travelling about the country with some 
black paper and a pair of scissors as his stock-in-trade, took the 
profile of which you have a copy by Edith May. The artist, 
having completed his education as a surgeon and apothecary, 
found out accidentally that he could thus take likenesses by the 
eye, and wisely enough resolved to try whether he could not by 
this means raise the money which he wanted for starting in his 
own profession. When he called at this door the girls, luckily 
for him, would have him try his skill, and this introduced him 
into considerable employment here and at Ambleside ; charging 
one-and-sixpence for a single profile, a shilling when several 
were taken, he took whole families everywhere, and very often 
duplicates and triplicates for sending to a distance. I believe 
he sells me for sixpence among my neighbours, and found mine 
a 'very profitable face even at that price. When Edith returns 
she means to fill a little book with the profiles of this family 
and of the Eydal one. 

Lord Eadnor's death makes me feel the sin of procrastina- 
tion, not, indeed, in any painful degree, nor with much cause 
for self-reproach, but yet with a twitch of that kind. I in- 
tended in the shortest and simplest manner to have dedicated 


my Colloquies to him gratefully. That word would have expressed 
all that was intended, and I am sorry the opportunity has been 
lost of manifesting thus publicly my sense of what was meant 
to be a great benefit. As regards myself, the object may be 
equally attained by inscribing the book to his Memory, but in 
such things the pleasure that is given is the main motive. 

Murray has been printing my History of the War in octavo, 
without giving me any notice of his intentions, so that I knew 
nothing of it till the other day, when I saw it advertised. It is 
of no other consequence than that I should have been glad to 
have corrected a few slips of the pen or of the press. The third 
volume, like everything which I have in hand, moves slowly. 
Shame to say, but so it is, the older I grow, and the more 
clearly I see and pressingly feel the necessity of working that 
I may get through what is to be done while the day lasts, the 
more tardily I proceed, and the more I am disposed to pause 
and linger and dream over what I am about. And then to make 
ill worse, when I have brought myself into the right train of 
thought, comes the time round for periodical journey-work, 
and then matter of more pith and moment prose and poetry 
alike must be laid aside for what, in the worldly meaning of 
the words, is " the one thing needful." A true and sorrowful 
confession ! 

That I have done much is certain, and have the credit of 
doing much, but it is not less certain that with half the industry 
which is exercised by any lawyer or clerk in an office I could 
have done seven times as much. 

I am now writing upon the Emigration Report for the 
Quarterly Review, and stealing whiles of time for the Colloquies, 
which are approaching to their close. The first part of the 
intended reprint of my Essays Moral and Political reaches 
London this day, and I shall look in about a week's time for 
the first proof proof-sheets being among the pleasures of my 
life. Now I must make up my despatches, put on my walking 
shoes, and set out for exercise. 

God bless you, dear Caroline. 




BUCEXAND, February 26, 1828. 

I only received your letter yesterday, but rest for me there 
will be none, I find, till I have said as well as thought, "God 
bless you for striking out that sentence in the new edition of 
the Peninsular War." * I say no more, for those three words 
will make you understand all I feel. If this were a world of 
requital as well as trial you ought to be very happy, delighting 
as you do in making others happy. Indeed I heartily agree 
that there are many good people in this world, and it is my 
fortunate lot to number many among my own friends and ac- 
quaintances. These have mostly fallen to me of late years. It 
is sad to tell that almost all the best years of my youth were 
(from strange circumstances) passed among those who had little 
fear of (rod before their eyes, and it was God's special mercy 
that I never lost sight of that, though compelled to associate 
with those unprincipled people, too many of them talented and 
clever and most agreeable, and by that means utterly duping 
my dear mother, who never would think evil of any till too- 
late. A strange whirl of dissipation and danger of all sorts I 
lived in, too often drawn for a time into the vortex, but always, 
thank God, with a sense of danger a something within me that 
was not of the world I lived in ; and it is impossible to express 
my happiness during about three months in the year, when 
with my dear uncle at Calshot or in London. I recollect feel- 
ing when I first got close to him as if I might then throw off 
all guard over myself, and be as young as my years, and as con- 
fiding and thoughtless as my nature. It was like stepping from 
a creaking plank across a chasm upon hard, firm ground. So I 
have been an arch deceiver, and played two very different cha- 
racters. Among one set of people the light, the wild, the 

* A sentence concerning Caroline Bowles's relative, Sir Harry Burrard,, 
in the account of the battle of Yimeiro. 


unprincipled votaries of pleasure I was comparatively cold, 
proud, and reserved, and older than my elders, and thought a 
pattern of prudence ; and when with those whose opinion I 
really valued, I was the gayest and giddiest of the gay and 
giddy, the promoter of all mischief, and the deepest in all 
scrapes. My autobiography would not be unentertaining, but 
I will take special care not to favour the public with it. 

I have worked hard for me for Blackwood this winter, 
urged on far more pressingly than I liked or bargained for. As 
for the Annuals, they must eventually run down each other. 
Alaric Watts wrote me last week he had sold 11,000 of the 

God bless you, dear friend. 




KESWICK, March 18th, 1828. 

I have been kept from writing to you by a perpetual inter- 
ruption of letters upon matters of all kinds, whether they con- 
cern me or not, this being one of the evil things that publicity 
draws after it. To me it has brought a great deal more good 
than evil, and therefore I submit to the drawbacks with a good 
will. It would have done this, if it had done nothing more 
than bringing me acquainted with you. 

Do not give anything to any of those people who make 
money by raising Annuals. 1 ought to have given you this 
advice before. They prize most what they pay for, and I will 
never give them anything again. I will be as mercenary with 
them as if I were a Jew ; my winged steed shall not be led out, 
unless there be money to make her go. I will even call her 
Pegasa, and swear that she is of the feminine gender, that the 
proverb may be fulfilled. 


Let your circulating bookseller send you Horace Hayman^ 
Wilson's Select Specimens of the Theatre of the Hindus, three 
volumes printed at Calcutta, but now on sale in London. The 
translator, of whom I know nothing, not even how to thank 
him, has sent me the book. I have as yet read only two of the 
seven dramas that it contains ; they seem to be very well trans- 
lated, and the state of manners and feelings which they describe 
is so unlike anything to which we are accustomed, that I am sure 
you will be interested by them. It is pleasant also to find that 
there is a sort of poetry which belongs not to time or place, but 
to human nature. 

Let him send you also the first number of the Foreign 
Review, not for my paper upon the Dukes of Burgundy (though 
you will read it and like it), but for a>ery interesting account*^" 
of a crazy Grerman poet, Werner by name. Our wildest 
geniuses would be tame in Germany. Shelley should have 
been a Grerman happy if he had been so ! He would have 
been whirled about there in the vortex of speculations till he 
was giddy and exhausted. Actions which in this country put 
a man into Bedlam, or out of society, seem to be there in 
the ordinary course of things. The mere appearance of the 
students whom I saw at Heidelberg (I mean merely seeing, 
in the streets and gardens) makes me understand this. I can 
believe anything of a people whose youth are so trained up, 
and should wonder at nothing that might happen among 

A plague on this review for keeping me at this time from 
worthier employments ! I am writing a paper upon Columbus' s 
voyages, parts of his own Journal and other of his papers having 
come to light. Heavy work am I making of it thus far, but 
there is something better in prospect when I get rid of the book 
and look at the subject in its wider bearings. 

Grod bless you, dear Caroline ; I am beginning to grow un- 
comfortable at the prospect of leaving home, and should be 
utterly out of humour with the journey, if it were not for 

* By Thomas Carlyle. 


the little time that can be taken out of it for Hampshire. 
Once more, 

God bless you. 




BUCKLAND, April 3, 1828. 

Thank you kindly for your noble charge against giving to 
the Annual beggars. But truly there is no fear lest I should be 
too liberal in that way ; for you know, nobody knows me, and 
that by-the-bye I might have observed to you when you be- 
spoke my good will for Allan Cunningham if he should apply. 

Alaric Watts was handed over to me by Mr. Bowles, and 
the said Groth has hitherto paid me in sweet words quantum suff. 
and with sundry books, and with his last petition came certain 
allusions to "worthier remuneration in a pecuniary sense." 
But really if I only give him some four or five stanzas, what 
can the man pay for them, or I accept conscientiously, for you 
know my poetic steed is no " Pegasa," only a Peggy ? 

I have been rather hasty in promising something to his wife 
also, but her letter pleased me, and so did her plan (for chil- 
dren, just suiting my capacity), so I promised without thought 
or calculation, to which I am not over prone. I should have 
liked well enough to have given something to the Keepsake, as a 
retainer for the very pretty book, but now the Editor has secured 
all you magnates, he would hardly give even the volume for an 
inferior contribution, and I am not going to volunteer. This 
Annual mania cannot last ; the market must soon be glutted. I 
think the Quarterly Review (not this last) might have spared 
the poor ephemerals ; the letter-press (though not the en- 
gravings) of Alaric "Watts are decidedly the best, and they 
crushed it with one coup de grace. I felt peculiarly flattered by 


their condescending intimation that they were, however, " half 
tempted to exclude from this sweeping condemnation the lines 
on the death of a child at such a page," meaning mine. These 
trifles seem to me beneath the notice of the Quarterly Review, 
but when the Keepsake comes forth in its strength, with long 
poems of yours and Sir Walter's, it may be worth dissecting. 

You were unkind to grow " uncomfortable at the prospect 
of leaving home " a home that has you, and will have you, 
almost always and altogether, and which you leave but for a 
very little while, of which little my share will be the least 
fraction, and yet comprising the all of pleasure I anticipate 
till but I look no farther. However, I will allow you to 
grumble at the trouble of moving, for I hate it too mortally. I 
send you some verses composed while I sat before the glass 
brushing my hair the other day. It is very hard one cannot be 
permitted to grow old and ugly without one's very identity 
being called in question, which mine has been, all owing to the 
subject of my verses ; and I never meet with any person who 
has not seen me for years, without being questioned (after a 
few oblique glances) as to what I have done with my hair. The 
other day a very pretty young friend of mine ventured to ask 
if such and such reports of what it had been could possibly be 
true, and I promised to get her a certificate signed by a few 
surviving witnesses of its "long-faded glories," as Mr. Moore 
would say, which only set the saucy damsel laughing very in- 
credulously, and me composing rhymes in revenge. Do not you 
also laugh when you read them. 

Grod bless you, dear friend, 





KESWICK, May 6th, 1828. 

Here, then, is the month of May, and it has entered as 
merrily as in the years of old. I heard the cuckoo on Satur- 
day. The leaves are opening, the fruit trees in blossom, the 
birds in full song-, and I looking on in discomfort to my de- 
parture from this country, just at the very season in which I 
advise all travellers to visit it. The day which, in my own 
mind, is fixed for my setting off is Monday the 19th. By that 
time I trust I shall be ready with work which cannot be post- 
poned ; that which can, I must, however inconvenient, take with 
me to Streatham. It will be about the middle of June before I 
can get to you. Three weeks between Streatham and London, 
mostly at the former place. A melancholy visit it will be, for 
in the course of nature there is scarcely a possibility that I 
should ever see my uncle again, and that possibility is not to 
be wished. I shall then come to you, halting twenty-four 
hours on the way with Chauncey Townshend, near (ruildford. 

I will bring with me the provoking poem out of which I 
have fooled myself for the Keepsake, bargaining for something 
which might run from three to five hundred lines, and pro- 
ducing what has extended very nearly to fifteen. It would 
have pleased you could you have witnessed the extreme interest 
which Bertha and Kate and Cuthbert have taken in the pro- 
gress of this story. If the latter heard me at any time mouth- 
ing out a stanza in the room over his head, up he was in an 
instant, to ask how I was going on, and if he might hear it. 
" All for Love, or a Sinner well Saved" is the title, and the devil ^ 
bears a great part in the business. It is a legend from the life 
of St. Basil, which only required purifying to be excellently 
adapted for this sort of ballad poem. Nothing could be more 
gross than its original character. This I easily got rid of, and 
have produced something which I daresay you will like. And 


as very likely it might have always remained unfinished if I 
had not bargained for it with Mr. Keepsaker, I am by no 
means disposed to be out of humour because of the improvi- 
dence of the bargain, especially as I reserve the right of 
printing it hereafter. 

D'Israeli has this day sent me a new edition of his book on 
the Literary Character, which he has dedicated somewhat at 
length to me. I learn from it two things respecting Lord 
Byron that he had thought of turning Turk, and regretted 
that he had not done so ; and that he had written and printed 
a pamphlet against me. More of this we may perhaps hear 
when Moore's life of this worthy makes its appearance. Moore 
will have a ticklish task to perform all through, and if he 
brings me in, which he can hardly help doing, I may, per- 
haps, make him cry 0, if he does not take care of his p's 
and q's. 

Grod bless you, dear friend, and farewell till you hear of me 
from London. 




KESWICZ, July 21th, 1828. 

Here then I am, thank Heaven, dear Caroline, once more 
at home and at rest. Our journey was performed under the 
most favourable circumstances of weather, there being neither 
heat, nor cold, nor rain, nor dust to incommode us. I was very 
much the better for the air and bathing, and for the perfect 
quiet which I enjoyed at Buckland during the only days of my 
whole absence on which I can look back with unmingled satis- 
faction. The week which ensued was one of great fatigue, but 
I began to rest when I got into the mail for Manchester, and 
to-morrow I shall fairly have fallen again into my old habits 


and occupations, having at once recovered here, as at Buckland, 
the most useful of all habits, that of sleeping well. 

That sweet tale of the friar and the children would turn to 
good account in your hands. Perhaps I may have fallen into 
the error (a very easy one for an omnivorous reader like myself) 
of attributing too much importance to a full knowledge of 
circumstantial particulars concerning any subject on which I 
am writing. Certainly I consume a very great deal of time in 
acquiring more information upon every subject before me than 
it is possible to bring to bear upon it. Do not you then be 
deterred by an apprehension that you have not the means of 
information at hand ; the want of them will not be perceived 
if you keep to the essentials of the story ; and perhaps I may 
have been seduced into overcharging my verses sometimes with 
allusions and indications of knowledge which not half-a-dozen 
readers in a generation will ever wholly understand, and not 
half of these would value when they understood it. In these 
cases knowledge may sometimes be a hindrance, as well as a 

Murray talks of a " Country Magazine," to be kept free 
from personalities and politics, and all matter that might be 
either offensive or injurious. If he bring it to bear I may 
write, perhaps, more tales in verse and more scraps in prose ; 
and shall tell him and his editor, moreover, where they may 
apply for aid to one who wants no other requisite than that of 
confidence in herself. 

Cuthbert is delighted to hear of Mufti, and thanks you with 
great pleasure for John Gilpin. 

Dear friend, God bless you. 




BTJCKLAND, August llth, 1828. 

I was more pleased than you can well conceive and more 
surprised, too, at your favourable opinion of my legend. I 
assure you I feared it was a very meagre jejune performance. 

What do you think of the conscience of Mr. and Mrs. Watts 
(Alaric and Zillah Madonna) writing to me for a second cargo 
of prose and verse for each of their books ? A proof, I think, 
that they are very hard run. He proposes payment, but in 
such a round-about way, that I cannot tell what to answer, for 
I cannot value my goods. I answered him, however, that I 
should be very well satisfied to receive whatever remuneration 
other scribblers of my calibre receive for contributions to his 
Annual. Was that right ? I wish there were literary agents 
to sell for one upon commission. I shall never manage these 
affairs well, however important to my finances. I returned 
home from a few days' visit to Southampton the day your letter 
arrived here; and how do you think I treated that letter, 
expected and wished for as it was ? It lay among half-a-dozen 
others on my table ; I caught up the whole handful, shuffled 
them over in search of one from you no writing of yours on 
either; no franking hand known to me ; " Horace Twiss" on 
the last " some begging Annual-mongers again," and away I 
whisked the poor letter farther than the end of the table, just 
as some three or four-and-thirty years ago I whisked away a 
hideous doll that my father brought me from London, instead 
of a pretty one which I expected. Luckily there was no one to 
see how like a fool I looked, between laughing and crying, 
when, on condescending to pick up and open the poor letter 
half-an-hour after, I found what it contained. If I were to 
live to the age of Methuselah, I should always be a child, I 
fear, and a spoiled child too, in some things; and it is too 
late now to promise to " be good, and never do so any more." 


I do not mean you to like me a bit the worse for my con- 
fession, remember, or because I cannot promise 'now even to be 

To-day I am expecting an uncle of mine who has been 
couched with success after being blind for seven years, during 
which time I have not seen him. He will stay some ten 
days or a fortnight with me, and I should greatly enjoy 
the visit, but "The Thane of Fife hath a wife" and she 
comes too. 

Grod bless you, my dear friend. 



KESWICK, September 23rc?, 1828. 

Your Santarem poem has pleased every person to whom I 
have shown it as much as it pleases me. You have hit the 
right key, and have told the story better than I could have 
done, for you have had a singleness of purport and of feeling ; 
and I should have lost that charm by an intermixture or an 
introduction of reasoning, which, with whatever care it might 
have been managed, would have disturbed the reader's enjoy- 
ment. This I am made sensible of by perceiving how deeply it 
is enjoyed by these girls. 

You will think it, as I do, an ill symptom of public opinion 
that Allan Cunningham's publisher objected to my Cock and 
Hen*Mpon the ground that it would injure the sale of the book 
among the Roman Catholics. Whether to print it with Elee- 
mon or not I have not determined, and may perhaps be guided 
by Murray's opinion. It is very much improved since you saw 
it ; I like it the better for having finished it at Buckland. In 

* " The Pilgrim to Compostella." 


its stead Allan has an epistle addressed to himself, in which 
occasion is taken from Chantrey's bust to introduce the Gallery 
of my Portraits.* I would have this transcribed for you if I 
did not know that you will have the volume as soon as it is 
published. It goes through about half the collection of my 
unlikenesses in a way which will please you, and being long 
enough for the subject and the place (filling up, in fact, all the 
space that Allan Cunningham had left for it), I broke it off 
just where it was convenient for him and for myself that I 
should stop. Matter enough remains for a second epistle if 
there be occasion to write one, and then I would pursue a 
picture of myself, beginning thus, and left unfinished because 
the poem broke off before I had reached the place where it 
should be introduced : 

" An open forehead, a strong brow, 
A proditorious eye, for no dislike 
Can lurk dissembled there ; a nose, withal, 
"Which, tho' it passed the Rhine at Strasburg Bridge 
Unnoticed, is (as, Allan, I am free 
In parliamentary language to admit) 
A noticeable nose." f 

And so I may perhaps go on, when the humour takes me, in 
this sort of strain, giving the inner, as well as the outer, 

I borrowed the conception of this poem from one of Bilder- 
dijk's. I have, therefore, inwoven a translation of so much of 
his as could well be introduced, and gladly took the opportunity 
of expressing my affection and admiration for him. 

Dear Caroline, Grod bless you. 


* See Southey's " Poetical Works," 1845, pp. 209-212. 
f These lines do not appear in the " Epistle to Allan Cunningham," as 



BUCKLAND, October 2lst, 1828. 

Last night I had written the accompanying letter. This 
morning's post has brought me your kind note. Pray do not 
grudge it me (though you would have heard from me without), 
for it is a better cordial to me than any in the Materia Medica, 
and just now I am in special want of one. 

The owners of General Wolfe's picture have just been in 
this neighbourhood to let their estate for seven years, and re- 
move the furniture, along with which the General is gone, or 
going, to Penzance, in Cornwall ; so if Murray thinks proper to 
affix him to your book he will have to send far for a copy. I 
should think a good copy of this picture would be really valu- 
able, for I find from Mr. Armstrong that the General never sat 
for any other, and after his death his mother begged and ob- 
tained a copy. Mrs. Armstrong's grandmother (the wife of 
General "Wolfe's tutor) destroyed unread more than 500 letters 
of the General to her husband after the death of the latter. 
I wish they were still extant and come-at-able. 

I saw in some country papers of late a notice of your forth- 
coming poem " Eleemon," that diverted me not a little, and will, 
undoubtedly, if friend Amelia* sees it, excite all her curiosity. 
It set forth that you had chosen rather a singular subject for 
your poem, the dramatis personce of which were composed of the 
persons " called friends." No doubt the sapient advertiser had 
heard something about fiends, and in his miscomprehension 
inserted the r, which makes such a considerable distance. 

I have just looked over friend Amelia's book about " detrac- 
tion," and rose from the sermon with the most backbiting 
inclination I ever felt in my life. She has certainly lived in 
the most vulgar and wicked circles of society, for nowhere else 
could she have found such examples as she treats her hearers 

* Amelia Opie. 


with. But you will never read the book, so I am wasting my 
valuable commentary. 

I wish, I wish, I wish you would write something to write 
down ladies' bazaars, repositories, fairs, charitable female con- 
gregations of all sorts, for you cannot think the mischief they 
are doing (to say nothing of their detestable exhibiting charac- 
ter) among the class of little toy shopkeepers and poor women, 
who really get their bread by these knick-knacks, the sale of 
which is now monopolized by the ladies. A friend of mine 
went into a shop in Burlington Arcade lately, to purchase some 
trifle, and on her remarking how little choice there was, the 
shopkeeper said all those of his class were half ruined by " the 
charitable ladies," who came and bought the first of every 
pretty new invented toy, set to work themselves, and so effec- 
tually ruined the tradesman's market. One fair young girl 
of rank said to another acquaintance of mine, pointing to a 
young moustachioed lancer who had just turned from the booth, 
where she was selling her fancy wares : " There," said she ; "I 
have just made him pay me fifteen shillings for a pair of 
garters" ! ! ! How should you like to see Edith acting charity 
in that style ? 

Grod bless you, dear friend. You have drawn this second 
edition on yourself, but do not regret it ; your note raised the 
quicksilver of my spirits from near zero to a degree or so 
within fair. Thank your stars that with you the mental tube 
is not filled with so fluctuating an element. 



KESWICK, November 14th, 1828. 

The two Souvenirs of Alaric Watts and his wife arrived here 
to-day and my young ones have got possession of them, but not 


till I had read your " Death of the Mowers," and " The Inflex- 
ible." It is needless to say how much I like the first, and the 
second has satisfied me that in comedy as well as in tragedy you 
migh tbear away the bell from all your contemporaries. I never 
remember any dialogues more excellently managed. The Goth 
writes to me in a pitiable, querulous, sore state of mind, out of 
heart, as it appears, with' his speculation in Souvenirs, and out 
of humour with everything and everybody. He wants some 
prose from me, and offers a fair price for it ; but both incli- 
nation and time are wanting, and so I shall curtly decline his 

The Keepsake has kept back one of my three pieces : they 
are all good for little so little, that I do not think they are 
worth sending to you: just as much task- work as a school 
exercise, and performed with no better liking for the occupation. 
The prints no doubt are better than the verses, but the book 
has not yet reached me, neither has Allan Cunningham's his 
I shall like you to see, because my epistle will please you. 

That odd person, Mrs. Whitbread, instead of being here, as 
you supposed, is on her way to Switzerland, called thither by 
the illness of her son, but I conclude only to nurse him during 
his recovery, for the letter which announces her departure is 
written gaily. She speaks of a report that King's College is to 
draw me from this place, and fix me in London ; this I have 
heard of from no other quarter, and am very sure that no such 
thought has ever entered the head of any person concerned in 
projecting the said College ; and that if it had, I should neither 
be inclined, nor qualified, to accept any office that might be 
offered me. Yet when her letter put the possibility into my 
head, I had waking dreams half through the night of how easy 
a distance it would be from London to Buckland ; and were the 
matter ever seriously to be weighed, that consideration would be 
one of the weightiest in the scale. I would give a great deal 
to be near you. 

November 27. Thus much you will see was written a fort- 
night ago why then has it lain unfinished till your note 
arrived this day ? Why, but because it is one of my besetting 

L 2 


sins to be always doing something else, instead of what I ought 
to do, and in good truth wish to be doing ; something pressing, 
or something preparatory, or something which I take to be pre- 
paratory, is always elbowing some worthier, and better, and 
pleasanter occupation aside. But my own faults are not the 
sole cause, for I am disturbed with letters and with business, 
touching me more and less, and more or less urgent, but all 
troublesome and consuming time. 

I have read Marivaux' book, very French, but very clever r 
and everywhere very agreeable except in the odious story of 
Lindamere, which is an abomination as well as an impossibility. 
One gets in such a book traits of national manners and feelings 
which are not to be got from any other books. I felt in read- 
ing this how much more I relished it from having been at 

Neither Keepsake nor Anniversary have yet come to me. I 
have a capital story to put in verse for the latter when the 
humour takes me of an Irishman whose head dropt off upon 
his taking a false oath before St. Kiaran, and the saint took 
him home with him and put his head on again. Something 
good may be made of this : think of him walking with his head 
in his hand (like a lanthorn) because he could not see his way 
without it ! 

My respects to Mufti. The Townshends have brought a 
dog with them as ridiculously little as his Muftiship is formid- 
ably large, and this ridiculous dog walks out with them, as 
Mufti does with you. I hope Eumpelstilzchen may not some 
day mistake him for something between a rat and a rabbit, and 
eat him accordingly. 

Dear Caroline, Grod bless you. 




BUCKLAND, December 22nd, 1828. 

I had so forgotten " The Inflexible," and the attempt had 
been so unnoticed, except in the Literary Gazette, which said it 
was " too long " only, that really I did not for a minute recall 
my own sketch to mind, when your sentence about it struck my 
eyes ; but when I did, your praise of it pleased me not a little. 
Such things are rather entertaining and mighty easy to compose, 
but somehow all the worthies I have ever written for think fit 
to discourage my comic vein. Whenever I treat the Monster* 
in that way he thanks me for " the admirable production," but 
hints that "in the pathetic I am super-admirable." I sent 
" Inflexibility " to the Goth, and he thanked me too " It 
was very clever, but unfortunately he was overpowered with 
contributions of that description : would I write him something 
serious?" So you see they will have me "like Niobe, all 

Poor Goth ! do you know he has lost another child. So the 
papers tell me, and that accounts too well for my not having 
heard from him. I wish, if you write for any of the Annuals 
(I would not in your place), you could have rummaged out 
something for him, for I fear the world goes ill with him, and 
if the poor, unhappy man will tread upon all its prickles and 
thorns, when he might avoid some by stepping aside, he is 
much to be pitied. I cannot help suspecting he has been run- 
ning headlong into a ruinous speculation, and there seems a 
disposition to beat him down, which makes me long to hold 
him up. 

I had almost forgotten to tell you that George Bowles, who 
came to see me last week, told me a gentleman, who pretended 
to speak from " excellent authority," asserted, at a dinner-table 

* Blackwood. 


of which my cousin formed one, that Mr. Southey had become an 
avowed Methodist, and that his sectarian principles would soon 
be made evident in a forthcoming poem called " The Sinner 
well Saved." " The title speaks what it is," said the man of 
good authority, " but I have seen it I have had a peep at the 
publisher's. Such a rant ! " Can you not fancy how demurely 
I kept my countenance while this story was telling, and my 
cousin very seriously asked "Is it possible ? " and how de- 
murely still I replied," " You shall judge ; I am afraid there is 
some truth in it." And then out came your proof-sheets, and I 
read, and very soon the reverend gentleman exclaimed, and I 
still read on till his wonder was lost in delight. 

Grod bless you, dear friend ! Grod bless you, and all yours,. 
and make the coming year one of peace and content to you. 




CATS' EDEN, KESWICK, January 1st, 1829. 

If there were sky-packets to the other world, dear Caroline,, 
as perhaps there would have been if Sin and Death had not 
entered into this, and may be hereafter when the victory over 
them shall be completed ; if there were such packets, I would 
not wish you many happy returns of a new year, for I should 
rather take counsel with you about making a party, and setting 
off for one of those lovely stars which one can hardly look at 
without fancying that in some of them there will be a resting- 
place for us. But things being as they are, I pray Grod to give 
you better health, fewer vexations, more comforts, and life long 
enough to enjoy the fruits of the reputation you deserve, and 
cannot fail to obtain. 

You have sent me a precious drawing and a pleasant letter. 
Your letters indeed are always pleasant except when they tell me 


that you have been suffering sickness, molestation, or such mis- 
hap* as this late one, which might have been so much more serious 
in its consequences. I have just been transcribing from one of 
your former letters a passage upon the Ladies' Bazaars as a note 
for my Colloquies . That book I trust will reach you in Febru- 
ary, for I am now near the end. Do you know the portrait of 
Sir T. ! More as engraved among Houbraken's heads ? Hou- 
braken was not (like Yertue) a faithful engraver, and in this 
instance I am right glad that he was not, for this print of his is 
a most excellent likeness of what my uncle was at my age. I 
have desired Murray to have it copied for a frontispiece, and, 
instead of any other dedication, have commenced a poem in re- 
lation to this accidental likeness. How the verses may turn out 
remains to be seen, but they will come from the right spring. 
You will like the intention I am sure. 

To assist you in the collection of portraits,! I must tell you 
what are attainable and what not. The first was engraved in 
the European Magazine, and is from a picture by Edridge. The 
Landlord exists only as a miniature here by poor Miss Betham. 
The Evangelical is in the New Monthly Magazine, and the 
French and G-erman copies are of course not attainable in this 
country. Sir Smug is poor Nash's miniature. Sir Smouch 
belongs to the Percy Anecdotes. Smouch the coiner is pub- 
lished for one shilling by a fellow named Lombard, in the 
Strand. And the Minion is the mezzotinto from the villainous 
picture by Phillips. So you see there are six which are pro- 
curable the two from the Magazines, the two Smouches, the 
Barber on the card, and the mezzotinto. We have an inten- 
tion of making such an illustrated copy here. 

The Keepsake is not yet arrived. As for my verses, you are 
very good-natured to like them. They are good enough for 
their place and their company, I suppose, and as good as could 
be expected from task- work, for it was just as much task- work 
as an exercise at school. There is a poem of Wordsworth's J 

* The sinking of a wall of her house. f i.e., Portraits of Southey. 
\ "The Triad." 


there which I have not seen, but which relates to his own 
daughter, Sara Coleridge, and Edith May, for the love of which 
poem the three aforesaid damsels are looking eagerly to the 
arrival of the volume. 

Dear friend, Grod bless you. 




BUCKLAND, January 22nd, 1829. 

I cannot wait to write you a " pleasant letter " ; you must 
make the best of one from a sick room, to which, though fast 
recovering, I am still confined from the effects of an ugly attack 
in the throat, a painful inflammation terminating in an abscess, 
which was so good as to break three days ago without quite 
choking me ; and here I am now with only a hole in my 
throat, which is healing, and able to talk with my pen at 
least, if not with the living organ. The letter from "Cats' 
Eden " came before I was taken ill, and many times since I 
thought of the " sky packet," but if it please Grod we will have 
some terrestrial meetings yet, if but to settle our celestial 
travelling plan. 

Of course you have received " The Book of Lords " * before 
this. I guessed at the originals of The Triad sketch, but com- 
passionate my dulness, and tell me which is which. " Abomin- 
able stupidity," the young ladies will say, but you need not 
betray me to them. I guess, but do not feel sure, as I ought, 
doubtless. One (Miss Wordsworth) I am unacquainted with, but 
I should have fancied no two portraits could be more dissimilar 
in their different styles of beauty than those of Edith and her 
cousin. I am angry with myself for being at fault. 

* i.e. The Keepsake, in which there were several noble authors. 


I do not know that head of Houbraken's you speak of. It 
is a happy coincidence that it should be characterized by the 
resemblance you are going to turn to such good account. If I 
dared wish away time, I would wish for February and the Book.* 
In my happier days I was but too prone to long that the hands 
on the dial would move faster than my eager anticipations, but I 
was affectingly and awfully cured of the presumptuous folly, 
and never now, under any circumstances, dare I wish for the 
morrow. It was twelve years ago last week since a well- 
remembered night, that on parting with my mother before 
we went to rest, after spending the evening merrily with our 
large family, I said to her " Oh, Mother ! how I wish this day 
fortnight were come." " Do not wish that," she replied in a 
tone that startled and made me look round at her as I was 
leaving the room, and yet in my obstinate impatience I re- 
peated, " but I must wish it, Mother dear, and I will wish it." 
" You have'wished away your time," she said, " and a fortnight 
hence how you may repent your impatience you may have no 
mother then." She looked as I had never seen her look before, 
and spoke as I had never heard her speak ; but she was in ex- 
cellent health, and afterwards, when she saw how I was 
struck and affected, laughed at my superstition, and said she 
did not know why she had spoken thus "It was without 
thought or meaning," and she seemed to forget it. That day 
fortnight she was in her grave. 

Grod bless you, dear friend. 


Southey's " Colloquies." 



KESWICK, February 15th, 1829. 

I cannot express to you with what emotions I read your last 
letter, nor will I endeavour to do it. My heart also is full of 
recollections like yours " last words, last looks " for which 
there is no Lethe in this world. If there were, methinks I 
would go a long pilgrimage to drink of it, but not if it were 
to wash away more than I wished to part with. 

My slow pen is approaching the end of the Colloquies, and 
my slow printer will soon have finished the little volume of 
verses.* Turn over and you will see the dedication. Forgive 
the verses for being no better ; if they had been the best I ever 
wrote, you could not have been half so well pleased in reading 
as I should have been in writing them. 

February 22. These overleaf lines are the very bad reason 
why I have been silent so long ; I hoped to make them better. 
Meantime the Colloquies are finished, and the last portion of 
MS. for them goes up under the cover in which [this] will be 

God bless you. 


I have neither time nor heart to say anything of State 
affairs, but you will of course conclude that I do not turn with 
the wind. 


Could I look forward to a distant day 
With hope of building some elaborate lay, 
Then would I wait till worthier strains of mine 
Might bear inscribed thy name, Caroline ; 
For I would, while my voice is heard on earth, 
Bear witness to thy genius and thy worth. 

* All for Love, and The Pilgrim to Compostella. 


But we have both been taught to feel with fear 
How frail the tenure of existence here ; 
What unforeseen calamities prevent, 
Alas how oft ! the best resolved intent ; 
And therefore this poor volume I address 
To thee, dear friend, and sister Poetess. 


BTJCKLAND, February 2Qth, 1829. 

Twenty years ago, if such a letter and such verses had been 
received by Caroline Bowles as those which reached her yester- 
day, some taint of youthful vanity might have been mingled 
with her affectionate gratitude. Far other feelings overpowered 
her yesterday. A moment's surprise but a moment's for, I 
was not to learn that you delight not to honour those whom the 
world honours ; then a sense of deep unworthiness, a gush of 
tears, and an inward prayer to become more worthy of such 
friendship as yours such distinction as you have conferred 
upon me. I commission your own heart to reward you, and 
tell you what mine feels, but cannot find words to express.* 

I tried to write yesterday, but could not recover myself 
sufficiently. A long illness which was but coming when I 
last wrote to you, and thought it going, scarcely allows me yet 
to leave my bed, and that must account for this strange scrawl. 
But they tell me I am much better, and shall soon be tolerably 
well again, and I feel I do not care to die while you remain to 
me, though I should like just to take precedence. 

* In his next letter (March 1st, 1829) Southey writes : " You have 
taken those verses more to heart than they deserved, or could have deserved, 
had the execution been as good as the intention. They tell you nothing 
but what you knew before ; but they may tell many persons what they did 
not know before that there is a certain Caroline Bowles whose poems they 
ought to send for ; and if they have this effect they will be good verses, ac- 
cording to the old saying, that ' handsome is that handsome does.' " 


Pray, when you write next, tell me in so many words how 
you are. I have had ugly fancies about you while you were 
silent, and because you have never answered me lately how you 
were. I shall get well much faster for knowing you are well. 

I want to say a good deal, but cannot a word more now, for 
my dizzy eyes can hardly bear even this effort. Grod bless you, 
dear friend. I long for the books. 



KESWICK, April 9th, 1829. 

"Whether my books reached you, or whether they are pub- 
lished, or when the greatest of Murrays means to publish them, 
I know not, the greatest of Murrays, who is also the greatest of 
Men, not having condescended for many months to favour me 
with any communications. In the Literary Gazette (which we 
call here the " Tom Noddy," to distinguish it from the John 
Butt] is an account of it as " not yet published," and a very 
Tom-Noddy-like account it is, giving as a specimen an extract 
altogether unlike any other part of the book, and explaining 
Montesinos to mean a stranger from a distant country ! And 
these are the critics upon whose good or ill report the sale of a 
book among book societies mainly depends ! 

I must tell you of an odd incident in one of our walks. In 
a field near Ormathwaite there is a row of old cherry trees of 
great size, and at the foot of one of these we found about a 
pint-basin-full of cherry stones, which had been laid in by 
some kind of mouse, I suppose, for his winter store, in a hole 
under the root. Every stone was perforated with so small a 
hole, that I hardly know how the kernel could have been got 
out, but having been thus hollowed, they were cast out from the 
nest. We brought home some of these as curiosities. 


My house is in discomfort ; the painters are coming to my 
bookcases in the study, and every book must be taken out. I 
have, however, very comfortable quarters in a book-room on the 
ground floor, fitted up since you were here, and well stored. 
Yesterday I sent to the press a portion of the Peninsular TTar, 
which I long to rid my hands of. I am also getting on well with 
the Introduction to " John Jones's Rhymes," and have this even- 
ing to begin a paper on Portugal. Thus I go working on, and 
find days, weeks, and months passing faster than, considering 
what there is for me to do, I could afford to let them pass if my 
speed were to be regulated by my conscience. Some progress, 
however, is always made in one thing or another, and though I 
have neither the ardour, nor the activity, nor, perhaps, the 
industry which were mine thirty years ago, I have no cause for 
any serious quarrel with myself. 

The eldest Miss Charter, after a long decay, which was not 
supposed to be dangerous till a short time before its termina- 
tion, has lately been removed to a better world. She was an 
excellent woman, and Elizabeth will feel the loss sorely, affec- 
tion for that sister having, I believe, occasioned her to decline 
more than one offer of marriage. Dear Caroline, these are the 
things, these virtues which are neither seen nor heard of men, 
upon which we may better rely for deliverance from the evils 
which threaten the nation, and which the public (so-called) 
thoroughly deserves, than upon any human wisdom or human 

Dear friend, Grod bless you. 




BUCKLAKD, April 28A, 1829. 

I will tell you that I think your cherry-stone hoarder your 
mouse, is a bird. Listen, why I think so. You may remember, 
or you may not, that I have a filbert walk in this garden. Last 
year the trees were very productive, and I and some cousins 
who were with me watched them, anticipating the winter store. 
But we were forestalled. Day after day, before quite fit for 
picking, the filberts disappeared, and one morning I found two 
separate piles one in the fork of a hazel, another in that of a 
walnut of filbert shells, not much broken, but hollow, the kernel 
extracted mostly through a small hole ; some of them were 
cracked, but each heap was piled with the hole downward into 
a little pyramid, exactly as if a housekeeper had piled them for 
dessert. " Children have been in the garden " was the cry at 
first. " Little rascals ! " said the gardener : he would watch 
them. And so he did ; and the next day I was summoned in all 
haste to see the thief at work, and saw and heard him too a 
thick-made, clumsy, greenish finch not a green linnet who 
carried the nuts one by one in his claw to an old oak-post, into 
a convenient hole of which he stuck them fast, and then struck 
them with his short, strong bill, as with a hammer, so loud, till 
he had perforated the shell, and could extract the kernel at his 
ease. So far his motives were plain enough ; but I wish any 
ornithologist would explain to me why, after his meal was 
ended, he was at the farther trouble of carrying the empty 
shells, and piling them, as I have described, so symmetrically 
in the fork of trees at a considerable distance. "There are 
more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our 
philosophy." Afterwards I found many more such hoards. 
"When a mouse has been the consumer, one can always dis- 
tinguish the marks of his nibbling teeth. 

I have just read a little book that charms me, that " babbles 


of green fields " to me even in this dull room The Journal of 
a Naturalist. I have seen no book of that sort so pleasant 
since White's Selborne. 

Good night, dear friend, for I am writing to you at night, 
my hour of life. 

29th. I expect, if I should live, and ever be a creature of 
this world again, and there is a royal nursery in my time, to be 
made laureate to that same. Some time before my illness, in an 
evil hour, I sent a sonnet to a baby cousin of mine (Sir Charles 
Burrard's first-born), and ever since not a brat can be born, or 
die, or change its long petticoats, but the mammas send to me 
for verses on the occasion. This is worse than the album con- 
scription. I copied the rashly- written lines, that you may keep 
them for your first grand-daughter, and now I will put them in 
this frank. It snows ! 

God bless you, dear friend. 



BUCKLAND, May 2nd, 1829. 

Yesterday and to-day, almost our first spring days, have re- 
vived me so far as to enable me to get down into the lower flower 
garden, lured thither also by the attraction of a new plaything 
which was sent me two days ago would Cuthbert could see 
it ! a little horse, just three feet high, a perfect little creature, 
mouse-coloured, with black mane, tail, and feet, and following 
me like a dog about the garden and into the house, where the 
first interview between him and Mufti was delightful, both eating 
bread together at the same time out of my hand, with their noses 
touching. When you were last in Fairyland did you hear the 
name of Titania's palfrey ? If you did, pray let me know it, 
that mine may be so christened, and then he shall have green 


housings with silver bells. Oh ! if he were of the true elfin breed 
how soon he should set me down at the door of Greta Hall. 

My little Persian charge, now in his sixteenth year, though 
not looking eleven, is going out the end of this month in the 
" Eoxburgh Castle," and I send him up to London in about ten 
days to be fitted out. He has turned out most happily ; but I 
am fearful the poor fellow is now taken away very prematurely 
from his school, to be placed in a mercantile house at Cal- 

Fare you well, dear friend. I leave you for your Colloquies. 
I think my name looks beautifully in print. I never liked it so 
well before. 




RESWICK, May 9th, 1829. 

You are right : the paper upon Dr. Parr is not mine (if it 
had been, you may be sure there would have been some allusion, 
which you would perfectly have understood, to his portrait) ; 
the paper upon Surtees's History of Durham is. In the pre- 
ceding number I have a paper upon school education, much the 
worse for the clipping which the editor bestowed upon it, what 
he cut out being curious historical matter, only to be met with 
in the course of such out-of-the-way reading as mine. 

You are a good nursery laureate, and I might promise and 
vow for my grand-children, if any there should be, that they 
would very dutifully be pleased with your performances. 

Is not your bird the Nuthatch ? So called from the very 
practice of carrying nuts to a tree or post, and fixing them 
where he can hammer, or hack, at them with his bill. My 
cherry stones were thrown out from a hole at the root of the 
cherry tree, certainly not the abode of a bird, and I think the 


marks of teeth may be perceived on them. Your hoards are 
quite inexplicable upon any supposition of use in them; but 
why may they not be the bird's trophies, which he may take 
pleasure or pride in erecting, as if to show us that there are 
others of God's creatures as well as ourselves who spend their time 
in vanities ? Murray sent me The Naturalist's Journal, and a 
delightful book it is. White's Selborne was wickedly reprinted, -- 
in the edition which I possess, in a garbled state, omitting 
everything which) did not relate to natural history. Now, one 
charm of the book was that this good man took an interest in 
antiquities, and his book is the most delightful specimen of the 
interest and enjoyment which a good man can find anywhere 
in the country, if he will but look for them. 

Lockhart will not so easily hang out the Liberal flag as 
Sir Walter has done. Sir Walter had cautiously kept clear of 
what is called committing himself. Lockhart has taken a de- 
cided part, from a clear view, I believe, of what was politically 
right, though perhaps without any other feeling on the subject. 
I should be sorry to find him going wrong, because, in spite of 
strong prepossessions, I am inclined to think well of his nature, 
and to like the little I have seen much better than all I had 
heard or otherwise known had led me to expect. 

The change in The Anniversary you probably know from 
Allan Cunningham, as I have done. There is a ballad ready 
for his first number, if he chooses to have it, called Roprecht the 
Robber, a good story, with which Cuthbert and his sister are 
much amused. I have just taken up another to finish it, begun 
before Edith was born ! And indeed I want only leisure to 
become as prolific a ballad- writer as I was thirty years ago. 
The one in hand is called The Young Dragon, so called to 
distinguish the said Dragon from his father, the Old one. I 
like better to play with grotesque subjects than to take up any^ 
which excite a serious abiding feeling in their progress ; and 
sometimes I am tempted to lay aside graver things for such as 
these by the interest which Cuthbert and the girls take in them. 
" Papa, have you hatched him yet ?" is the question with which 
I am now assailed concerning The Young Dragon, and perhaps 



when you Lave read all that is yet written you will not wonder 
that I hear the question eagerly repeated. [Four stanzas are 
here given.] Farther Robert the Rhymer hath not proceeded. 
You will smile at this, and hope that the egg will neither be 
addled nor over-roasted in hatching. 

Dear friend, God bless you. 



BUCKLAND, May Wth, 1829. 

I have a letter from a 'womankind' that rather troubles 
me, a friend of Mr. Wordsworth's ; I think you know something 
of her, Miss Jewsbury. Said Miss Jewsbury has been so good as 
to take a fancy to " A Brook and a little Star " of my writing, 
and "A Story of a Broken Heart," and thereupon she sends 
me two books of hers " Lays of Leisure Hours," and " Letters 
to the Young," and writes me sweet things and fine things so 
fine I do not know how to answer her, about life and a wilder- 
ness, two Ravens, and a brook Cherith ! But I have read 
clever things of hers, and being a friend of Mr. Wordsworth 
she must be good for something, and I am obliged to her. 

Do you know anything of Le Bas's theological writings ? 
His Sermons are among the very few modern ones I can read 
without going to sleep graceless confession ! smacking too 
much of the original sin which made me, when I was a wee 
thing, answer my father in a manner which I well remember 
shocked him vastly. He gave me some fables (I forget what), 
charging me to read the morals ; " But Papa," said I, " I hate 

Certainly my bird is the Nuthatch ; stupid I was not to think 
of that ingenious creature. Strange doings are going on in my 
feathered world. Two pairs of blackbirds have lived for the 


last two years among the shrubs in" front of this house, and till 
lately held the little territory very amicably in common. About 
a month ago one of the cock birds disappeared, and forthwith, 
instead of going into mourning and retirement, as any decent 
widow would have done, the widow blackbird intruded herself 
into the other establishment, fell upon the legitimate wife, half 
picked her eyes out, and I am afraid succeeded in her unprin- 
cipled attack upon the surviving cock's fidelity, for certain it is 
there are two nests, containing two families, upon two neigh- 
bouring bushes, and his conjugal and paternal cares seem 
equally divided between the rival zenanas, though he has by 
no means reconciled the rival sultanas, who regularly come to a 
pitched battle every time they meet, which the black sultan seems 
to contemplate for a time with strict neutrality, but if it holds 
out longer than his patience, he comes down from his lime-tree 
perch, beats both ladies with most impartial execution, and 
having sent each back to her business at home, celebrates the 
triumph of his domestic rule with such a burst of song as rings 
through my very bedroom, from whence I have taken notice of 
these incongruous proceedings. I am idle enough you see, but 
you cannot say I tell you a story of a cock and a bull. Now I 
must go and write to my friend of the Brook Cherith, and I 
must try to write well (oh dear, oh deaY ! ), which I never do to you. 

(rod bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICE, May 19th, 1829. 

Your Chapters* came not from London, but from Edinburgh. 
What a cruel woman you are to write such chapters as some of 

* " Chapters upon Churchyards." 
M 2 


them are ! To sit down deliberately with pen and ink for the 
purpose of making other people as unhappy as the contempla- 
tion of ideal suffering can make them ! And yet in this same 
book to show them that when you please you can be the play- 
fullest and pleasantest of writers. Time was when such a book 
would have made the fame and the fortune of its authoress. 

Your new correspondent is the daughter of a person in the 
iron trade, at Manchester I believe. Her mother died when 
she was young, and the care of bringing up younger brothers 
and sisters devolved upon her. A long illness broke the cheer- 
fulness of her disposition, and has, I understand, thrown her 
into a gloomy sort of religious feeling, which makes her repent 
of her former publications. The Wordsworths know her and 
like her ; indeed she is to visit them about this time. I never 
saw her. She was bred up, I suspect, among persons who hold 
me in no good liking, from political or sectarian prejudices, 
and, like many young writers, upon commencing her career she 
thought me a very proper object of attack. The Wordsworths 
were unlucky enough to bring this to my knowledge, for other- 
wise I should never have heard of it. They sent over the book 
in which this little piece of indiscretion was contained for my 
inspection, in the hope that I would say something civil of it in 
the Quarterly Review. I wrote back word that the only kindness 
I could show to a young lady who in what she had said of me 
had shown as little sense of modesty as of truth, would be to say 
nothing of her. There of course ended my resentment, which 
was quite as much as the offence deserved. What I said would 
not be repeated to her, and I daresay she finds it now much 
more difficult to excuse herself than I do to excuse her. Do 
you know my ballad of "Old Christoval's Advice, and the 
reason why he gave it " ? Perhaps not, as it is not among my 
poems, but 'in the two- volume edition of my " Letters from 
Spain and Portugal." 'Tis a good wholesome story, the appli- 
cation of which I often make to myself. 

Wednesday, 2 o'clock.* All in confusion and discomfort ; 
trunks open, linen in one place, coats, waistcoats, and innomi- 

* Before starting for the Isle of Man by way of "Whitehaven. 


nables in another, shoes, boots, caps, gowns, bonnets, books, and 
all the etceteras of preparation for such a family movement ; 
my Governess miserably unwell, and the worse for the bustle 
and the intended expedition, which is mainly intended for her 
good ; Bertha with a bad cold, and a stomach which is never 
well ; Edith white as a lily ; Kate quite contented, and now, 
thank God, in comfortable health. Cuthbert happy as he can 
be, and I myself in a state of resignation to the discomforts 
before me, consisting of separation from my books, my business, 
and my old shoes. Just finished a paper for the Quarterly 
Review, and made up the packet which is to convey the latter 
half and the proofs of the first half to Lockhart. To-morrow at 
eleven we start, and my next, I trust, will be from the Isle of 

God bless you, 



BUCKLAKD, June 8th, 1829. 

That dedication of yours (it must be that] has opened to my 
merits, genius, and so-forth, eyes many that would never other- 
wise have honoured me with a glance ; and I have been particu- 
larly charmed with the originality of one kind unknown friend, 
who writing of me as the authoress of Chapters on Churchyards, 
in a paper called The Spectator, after calling me an ornament 
to my sex, and so on, finishes by remarking, with infinite 
naivete, " Why have we never read Ellen Fitzarthur, The 
Widow's Tale, &e., &c. ? " Is not that good ? I have had one 
letter that charms me, however, from the real kindliness of 
spirit and good- will towards me that characterises its otherwise 
beautiful style. Moreover, it is from a person who I am ready 


to believe is sincere in her praise of what she has read of mine, 
because I believe in sympathy, and for some years I have 
always looked out with more than common interest for the 
beautiful little poems of Mary Howitt (of William and Mary). 
Probably you [may know something of these Quaker Poets ; I 
take to them mightily. Not so to Bernard JBarton, and yet 
I can hardly tell why. I cannot take to him : I have dreamt, I 
believe, that he is a sort of priggish Quaker, and I hate his 
straight-haired effigy a reasonable reason! 

If ifc were not for bringing a scandal upon my habitation, 
I could tell tales of my favourite pigeons, evincing as profligate 
disregard of propriety as the blackbirds have shown, and utterly 
confuting the old comparative saying " As constant as a Turtle." 
I have a pigeon called " Blue Tom," who, with Grizzle his wife, 
was for some time sole occupant of my little dove-cot, of which, 
though two other pairs have since been added to the inhabitants, 
he has always kept mastery. But for more than a twelvemonth 
he and Grizzle dwelt alone there, patterns of connubial happi- 
ness and decorum, so long as the lady could take her pastime 
abroad with her lord and master and make herself agreeable. 
But the cares of a family came on ; she very properly stuck 
close to her eggs, and when she came out to shake herself Blue 
Tom occasionally took his turn of sitting. But then I suppose 
he considered his duty ended, and on the second morning of 
Grizzle's seclusion he flew away to Lymington, his first flight 
there ; seduced a dirty yellow hen pigeon from perhaps a dis- 
consolate mate, and brought her home in triumph, assigning her 
no better lodging here, however, than the eaves of the house, 
and never taking any notice of her when his old wife came out 
of doors, though at other times he brought her to feed at the 
window where I throw food to them, and flew about the garden 
and fields with her on the most social terms. The most wicked 
part of the business was to follow; when the young pigeons 
were hatched and thriving, and their mamma able to leave her 
nursery, Blue Tom half murdered the yellow unfortunate, and 
he and Grizzle united forces to drive her fairly off the premises ; 
no easy matter, as I suppose she was outlawed at home, and 


could hardly hope for even a separate maintenance. So much for 
Turtle-dove constancy ! But what a strange anomaly ! was it 
not ? I am afraid there must be something morally deteriorat- 
ing in the air of this place. At last I settled two more pairs in 
the dove-cot, and ever since Blue Tom has passed his widowed 
hours very contentedly in their society without fetching home 
an extra partner. I think I shall send this anecdote to Col- 
burn for his new journal of scandal.* 

I thought I had not a word to say when I took up my pen 
(lifted it up, as a correspondent of mine used to express herself) , 
but I find nonsense flows in naturally, and the only difficulty is 
to stop the torrent. Tell me how your hay fever goes on, or 
goes off I hope. I have never heard anything of Allan Cun- 
ningham since he sent me his Anniversary and so much the 
better : at present I am incapable of writing anything, and have 
refused the Halls and some other people. The slightest mental 
excitement brings on the terrible beating of that vile heart of 
mine, which is never quite still now, and once set a-going seems 
running a race against time ; and its pace is audible to other 
ears than those of my nervous fancy. 

* A passage from another letter pleasantly illustrates the interest which 
Caroline Bowles took in our foster brothers 

" Of that folk in fur or feather 
Who with men together 
Breast the wind and weather." 

" The other day my attention was attracted for some time to a curious 
scene of dumb show performance, the actors of which were a Robin redbreast 
and a mole. The miner was invisible, but his operations were stupendous 
and their effect marvellously rapid and obvious in the soft earth-bank he 
was excavating ; beside which stood the Robin in profound contemplation, just 
hopping on a step or two as the ridge of black mould heaved and lengthened, 
now and then swelling into hillocks in its progress. Robin I suppose was 
watching for wjorms, but the engineer below did not throw up any, and the 
bird's attention seemed so philosophically profound that I made no doubt he 
was taking notes of the mimic earthquake, and would go home and write 
just such a letter about it as Pliny's the younger. You shall see it if it 
is addressed to me : and I am a very popular person among dumb creatures 
of all sorts, so Rob may honour me with his confidence." 


God bless you, dear friend ; the mechanism of the heart will 
run down at last and be still enough, but that of the mind will 
not, so I shall never bid you farewell. 



BTJCKLAND, July 12th, 1829. 

I have for a considerable time been totally incapable of 
writing anything, except now and then an idle verse or two. 
Very possibly I may never be able to do more, and no matter ; 
but if I should, perhaps I might ask you to indulge me by the 
accomplishment of a wish you first suggested to me. Assuredly 
I should never eke have had the boldness to conceive it. You 
commended my versification of the Santarem legend. If ever I 
could succeed as much to your satisfaction in one or two other 
little poems, would you of your abundance contribute two or 
three, and so make up a little volume with me ? I ask with- 
out further circumlocution, because I feel I think, at least 
you can appreciate my motive no vain or worldly one, God 
knows. Your plan was a far more tempting one, inasmuch as 
I would much rather have worked upon the same structure with 
you, though only on its most insignificant parts ; but then I 
tried, and was found wanting, which proof of my incapacity 
pained me only so far as it dispelled the pleasant vision you 
had conjured up, and I took that dispersion more to heart than 
you, who have so many objects of dear interest, can well con- 
ceive. Lately this less ambitious vision has haunted me : you 
have only to wave your hand, and it is gone. 

God bless you, dear friend. If my proposal appears to you 
an indiscreet or presumptuous one, try to forget it ; it is but a 
dream, like my life. But do not forget me. 



In a letter of July 16th, 1829, Southey writes : " I will 
rather send a few lines, dear Caroline, than let a post go by 
without telling you that the wish which you have expressed 
has been more than once at the top of my pen, and would very 
soon have found its way to paper. I shall dearly like it in 
effect. So go you to work. Moreover, please you not to con- 
sider the original scheme* as abandoned, but only as in abey- 
ance, till you will let me bring you to pass a summer and 
autumn here." 



BUCKLAND, July QQth, 1829. 

It is not in your nature to give pleasure by halves. You 
might have granted my request, and yet have left me unsatis- 
fied (dissatisfied with myself, that is) ; but you persuade me 
you have pleasure in granting it, so the ratified covenant is 
delightful to me, visionary as its fulfilment may long remain. 

"Queen Mary's Christening" is, I suppose, the ballad you 
spoke of in your former letter, as one you had designed for 
Allan Cunningham's share of "The Three Chapters." The 
title sounds well, and a title is everything, Mr. Colburn says. 
You might be sure I should like that half-sportive, half-serious 
prelude which brought the family group at Greta Hall so 
distinctly before me, and you know I can laugh with those that 
laugh, as well as weep with those that weep. Full sure am I 
it is wisdom's part, and religion's too, to make the most of every 
sunbeam that brightens this chequered valley of our life more 
especially those that gild its decline assurances of a more 
cloudless morrow ; and as to compromising the dignity of learn- 
ing and graver years, I can only say you may venture to be 

* ''Robin Hood." 


sportive, though dulness and mediocrity cannot afford it. So I 
will be your abettor in all trespasses on formal gravity, provided 
you treat me now and then with a strain such as my soul loves 
serious, not sad, full of human feeling and heavenly hope. 

Oh ! for a little summer. I long for it as for life ; so 
reviving is it to me to bask in the sun and live in the open air. 
For the first time in my life I have quarrelled with trees, green 
trees, for being shut in weeks together by the perpetual floods 
and storms, almost unable to employ myself all day, and with 
nothing to look at but trees, that you know surround the house, 
and now press close upon the front windows. The perpetual 
mopping and mowing of an old acacia, top heavy with rain, has 
so worried me by day, and haunted me by night, that I could 
fancy it my evil genius. 

God bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, August llth, 1829. 

I shall draw some tears from your eyes, dear Caroline, by 
the history of a young American poetess* which I am just 
finishing for the next Quarterly Review, and have, indeed, this 
moment broken off, that I may not longer delay writing to 
you. You are a cruel writer, for you imagine tales which I, 
with all my love for the writer, and with all my admiration for 
the passages that catch my eye, cannot bear to read, though 
thirty years ago I should have devoured them. In my future 
fiction I will make everybody happy as far as I can, for the sake- 
of making myself so while I write, and will tell no sad stories^- 
unless they are true ones, as this is. She was a beautiful crea- 
ture, who died at the age of seventeen, the victim of over-excite- 

* Lucretia Davidson. 


ment, like Kirke White a name which I think of with as- 
much gratitude as his relations feel towards me, because, had 
it not been for him, you and I should, in all likelihood, never 
have known each other in this world. 

You will soon hear a great deal of the Co-operation Societies. 
Grooch has written a paper upon them, which Lockhart (a little 
to Grooch' s surprise and mine) has printed for the next Quar- 
terly. Both Gooch and Eickman and I see in its full extent 
the great, palpable, and immediate benefit which these societies 
must confer upon those who engage in them. They are 
spreading marvellously fast: no experiment in society ever 
spread so fast ; and none, I expect, will ever have gone so far. 
The difficulty will be, where to stop, for some of them already 
proclaim that they aim at a community in lands and goods. 
Now, I am more than willing to see small communities formed 
upon this principle ; but I do not like to think of its being 
brought, like a steam-boiler, into the midst of our crowded 
society, and bursting there. The levelling principle, if carried 
to its full extent, must level everything. Now, I want to 
away the circle of inequality and its iniquity, which consists in 
its excess, yet at the same time to preserve the gradations of 
society, and our institutions which are founded upon them. 

I have begun in hexameters the story of a shipwreck for our 
volumes thus : 

Hear in Homeric verse the pitiful tale of a shipwreck 
Which, in the Mexican Gulf, the Licentiate lAonso Zuazo 
Suffered, long ago. I found the story in Spanish, 
Told in that nohle tongue by old Oviedo of Yaldez, 
"Who from Zuazo himself received the faithful relation.* 

This is the beginning. Some fifty more lines are written,, 
which bring me to the shipwreck, and I suppose the whole will 
extend from 500 to 1000 lines. 

Dear friend, Gtod bless you. 


* The passage goes on to the fourteenth line of the fragment, as printed 
in Robin Hood, $c. 



, September 8th, 1829. 

The Bishop of Chester, Bird Sumner, is a far more able 
man than Charles Sumner, our bishop. I believe, in my con- 
science, both are sincere men, however warped in some of their 
religious and political views. But both undoubtedly favour 
sectarian principles, though our bishop has just expressed him- 
self strongly in his charge against the desertion of the Church 
for the Meeting-house. But thus that peculiar party in the 
Church to which the name of Evangelical is nov so improperly 
applied as the designation of a sect, instead of that of the 
Church of Christ, does little less than convert the church into a 
meeting-house, whenever one of their ministers gets possession 
of a pulpit, and to this party both the Sumners have ever 
belonged, and are now, of course, its strenuous favourers, with 
immense influence, since their accession to so great ecclesiastical 
dignity. If I had not lived in a land of sectarians if I had 
not, from family and other connexions among them, seen, and 
heard, and known so much of all they do, and all they aim at, 
so subversive of our present religious constitution, I should enter 
with untempered enthusiasm into the scheme of the Church 
Methodists; but now I find it hard to believe that such an 
establishment will not be made conducive to their own peculiar 
views by men as ingenious (and in some instances as unscrupu- 
lous) as the Jesuits in promoting them. The theory is admi- 
rable. Nobody could be more taken with it than I was ; nobody 
can be more anxious that a safe and stable fabric may be built 
upon it, sustained by " zeal without innovation," without in- 
sidious views towards the subversion of our present Church 
establishment. But I hope with fear, and with regard to the 
Co-operation Societies, fear is uppermost in my mind. Do not 
" contempt" the weakness. I know that no great good will 
ever be attained by those who will risk no possible evil, and 


that some evil must intermingle with the most perfect human 
system. But in the times we live in, when everything seems 
unsound, undermined, tending portentously towards great and 
awful change, especially towards anarchical subversion of rank 
and order, and all old things (some, doubtless, may be well 
spared from among us), I tremble to think of what may be the 
still accelerating force of an engine, set off with so powerful an 
impetus, without a drag-chain to the wheels. You say they 
" already aim at a community of lands and goods"; they have 
little more to aim at. Eemove those old landmarks, and all the 
enclosures and high places of society must be levelled and laid 
open to the equalizing rabble, and then God help us ! 

Ever since the publication of the Colloquies I have been 
looking out for some sign that your cunning lure had taken 
with Friend Amelia, and that her superabundant energies will 
for some time at least flow in the channel and a very good 
channel too to which you have directed them. But, dear 
friend of mine, having thus taken upon yourself in some sort, 
like St. Vincent de Paul, the directorship of female energies, 
for Heaven's sake hold the reins tight ; keep a sharp curb upon 
them ; suffer them not to strike out right and left ; and, above 
all, exclude from your new order all candidates under forty at 
least. If our ladies will faithfully take pattern by the admirable 
Flemish and French institutions, such an establishment as may 
owe its existence to your delightful pen (which would infallibly 
have made me a Beguine, or a Sceur de la Charite, if I was not 
a most ungregarious animal) must and will be an inestimable 
benefit to this country. But 'ware missionary zeal in this 
case too ! the co-operation of " tract- trotting misses" and the 
precious ministers they " sit under." Of late years a Magdalen 
Hospital has been established by persons of the above denomi- 
nation at Southampton, where ladies of all ages, but mostly 
young ones, some very young, act in concert with their spiritual 
directors, often accompanied by them as visitors, superinten- 
dents, confessors, to the unfortunate persons with whom it 
makes one shudder to think a youthful, uncontaminated creature 
should have a moment's contact ; and some of these young con- 


lessors expatiate unblushingly on the " miracles of grace" it is 
their good fortune to witness among these regenerated prose- 
lytes. These lady-errants will be all ready to swarm into an 
hospital nun establishment-; but keep them out for Heaven's 
sake. One cunning way of excluding the young ones would be 
to prescribe a very unbecoming uniform. It will still attract 
elderly women, for the sake of distinction, which so often 
succeeds that love of dress which made Johnson (was it not ?) 
designate us as " animals delighting in finery," and he, the 
" cooking animal," was right enough. 

For all your threat of drawing tears from me, I look eagerly 
for the next Quarterly Review, and your story of the young 
American ; but truly I must take leave to observe that, by your 
own confession, you are as deliberately cruel as I am. Do you 
break one's heart less with melancholy truths than if you tried 
it with mournful fiction ? And be it known to you, that (ex- 
cept in the story of Andrew Cleaves) I have only been guilty 
of working upon prepared canvas. Circumstances within my 
own knowledge, or recollection of my mother's inexhaustible 
traditionary store, supplied me with abundant materials. I 
wish you joy of your noble determination to make all your 
creatures happy. I find it much easier to kill them out of the 
way, and then I take special care, when my work is done, never 
to read a page of it. 

" Our volumes ! our volumes ! " how pleasantly that sounds ! 
and I like well the hexameter opening of the shipwreck ; but 
when will the time come when I shall be able to send you some 
beginning of mine ? 

My wits are all bottled up in the moon, I believe, or rather 
they are crushed into stupor by the load of mortality that 
presses on them no heavy burthen, it should seem, by specific 
weight of flesh and blood ; but " the ills that flesh is heir to " are 
heavy makeweights ; and yet I am at present something better 
than I have yet been since January. Do not you rejoice in 
these floods, and storms, and cruel cold, if it gives you a respite 
from company ? It kills me. No heliotrope ever turned sun- 
ward so wistfully as I do, and I rejoiced doubly in the bright 


sunshine of the 4th, hoping it looked down on Crosthwaite 
Church and the wedding train it was to receive that day. Miss 
Coleridge's maiden home must have been a happy one. I 
heartily wish her wedded one may be not less so. Is she to 
reside henceforth in London? 

Farewell, dear friend. I have written a great deal of 
senseless stuff, I suspect. Would you were near at hand to 
make me wiser ; at all events, make me happier ; for wisdom 
is not my vocation, and I suspect happiness might have been. 




KESWICK, September llth, 1829. 

You say nothing concerning the Beguines, the Church 
Methodists, and the Co-operatives but what is perfectly sensible 
and true. With regard to the two former, hypocrisy will in- 
trude in all such things ; and with it everything that is odious, 
but among Beguines it has little opportunity of doing mischief. 
In Methodism I see all the danger that you apprehend ; but 
without assistance the Church Establishment must continue to 
lose ground. The number of the clergy is inadequate to that 
of the people : any proportionate increase is not even to be 
dreamt of while our rulers both in Church and State are what 
they are, and what they are likely to be. The clergyman acts 
everywhere alone ; whereas everg sectarian is as far as he can a 
coadjutor to his minister, a recruiting, or a drill sergeant for his 
sect. There is undoubtedly great danger in calling in such 
auxiliaries as I have proposed, but ttat danger is diminished 
by wise management ; such persons if not with us would be 
against us ; and without aid it is I think (looking at human 
causes) impossible that the Establishment should keep its 


ground. Indeed it is more than rumoured that there is an in- 
tention of selling the tithes upon Mr. Pitt's plan. The conse- 
quence of which would be that the right of the clergy to their 
revenue, which now rests upon the Constitution, would then rest 
upon an Act of Parliament, made in one session, and liable of 
course to be repealed in any other. Their incomes would then 
be to be paid from the funds, that is from the taxes ; and the 
first great reduction which would be called for by the Eadicals 
and willingly conceded by the Whigs would be that of getting 
rid of this charge. One proposal might be ^ to pay the clergy 
of all denominations, but the end would surely be that of 
leaving our clergy, like those of the dissenters, to be sup- 
ported by the free will of their respective congregations. And 
what the dissenting clergy have become in consequence of such 
dependence you know; what a sleek, sycophantic, supple race 
the thriving ones among them are; and in what wretched 
dependence the poorer ones are held. 

I have been disappointed of meeting Sadler, who is too busy 
in preparing his book. But I shall propably go to Lowther in 
the course of a few days, and then to Eipon. From Sadler I 
have been looking daily to hear in reply to the inquiries which 
I have made of him concerning the Church Methodists. I 
suppose his Whitby speech has prevented him hitherto from 
answering me. That speech is too rhetorical for my taste, 
though not for its auditory. But in all his views I go with 
him, except in his opposition to emigration, which I am con- 
vinced must always be our safety-valve. 

The Co-operatives will better their own condition, both mo- 
rally and physically, so greatly, as in my opinion and in Eick- 
man's also (whose opinion in all such matters is worth more than 
that of any other man whom I have ever known) to produce a 
great reform among the lower classes, by the example of thrift, 
industry, and comfort which they will set. They will make the 
value of good character conspicuously visible. Mischief will be 
intended by some who take up their cause, but in the papers 
which the Brighton Society publish there is nothing but what 
is temperate, wise, and cogent. And certainly I look upon the 


movement which has thus commenced as the most important 
that has ever yet occurred in civil society ; the most important 
and the most hopeful. 

Henry Taylor has been passing a week with me, and takes his 
departure to-day. The flight of summer birds are off also, or 
on the wing. This evening I shall have the rare enjoyment of 
a quiet evening's work, which will be an enjoyment, though I 
am never willing to part with Henry Taylor, he being, except 
yourself, the only friend whom I have made in later years. Our 
volumes will fare the better for the leisure which I now begin 
to promise myself. I am in the vein of verse were there but 
time to work it ; and rich mines there are to work in. 

Mrs. Coleridge is on her way to her son Derwent, at the 
LandVEnd. A very agreeable woman (Miss Trevennion) , who is 
a very useful and good friend to Derwent, was here at the wed- 
ding, and takes Mrs. Coleridge with her in her carriage, which is 
a great God-send for so long a journey. The new married couple* 
are lodging in Keswick and taking their pleasure. All change 
is painful to me : this, however, was a desirable one ; being (it is 
to be hoped) for the happiness of those who are gone ; and to 
the convenience of those who are left. This change gives us 
room, which was beginning to be wanted : the next, whatever 
that may be, and whenever it may come, will make a void. 
Whether the next set-forth from the house be for a marriage, 
or a funeral, who can tell ! Thank God, when I look forward, 
it is always to another world ; overlooking the whole of the 
down-hill road before me. 

God bless you, dear friend. 


* Sara and Henry Nelson Coleridge. On November 18th, Southey tells 
Caroline Bowles how he had accompanied the new married pair as far as 
Ripon: "Sara was much affected at parting from me, and I could not 
suppress my own feelings as I am wont to do." 



BUCKLAND, December 1th, 1829. 

Whatever tricks your memory may play you, by making 
you doubt sometimes whether you have written to me or not, 
mine, though in general a very treacherous ally, never leaves 
me a minute's doubt whether or not I have heard from you ; 
and just as I received your last letter, she had been telling me 
your silence had lasted two whole months ! and at b-st you put 
by the Peninsular War and the Suchet for me unworthy me. 
Not so, however ; a few moments spared from even important 
avocations to a friend, and an old friend (I claim the title now), 
is never time wasted. My old nurse used to tell me, when we 
deliberated about giving something that could not well be 
spared at the time, " You'll never miss it at last, my child." 
I apply her saying to the sacrifice of time you must so often 
make to me " You will never miss it at last." 

Now I must tell you that I waited the more patiently for a 
letter from you as I had gleaned tidings of you, and guessed 
from them that you were absent from home. A lady wrote to 
another lady, who wrote to a third, who told it to me, that she, 
viz., lady the first, was going to dine at Colonel Howard's at 
Levens, to meet the two Poets of the Lakes. Who could those 
be, but yourself and he of Bydal Mount ? So all is well, said I to 
myself, and waited with exemplary patience. I am to ask you, 
Was not the lady who " talked to you of the Levetts " at Levens 
a sort of Bridgettina Botherum ? She intends to be very azure, 
makes dead sets at poets, would go twenty miles any day to see 
his poetical shadow ; talks him dead if she can, and certainly 
talks all her friends to death for six months afterwards, with 
describing his characteristics, personal, moral and intellectual; 
" his eyes in a fine phrensy rolling," his sublime abstraction, 
his half words, hums and has! whether he took water at 
dinner, or eat his fish with a fork (for she slips in at the table by 


the victim's elbow if she can) ; and if afterwards she can ensnare 
him to commit himself in her album, she would not exchange 
her good fortune, for the time being, with the best lady in the 
land, though privileged to write herself Mistress instead of 

What a pity your fair and interesting new acquaintance 
at Swinton was not daughter instead of wife to the good and 
amiable old man you describe ; but, especially as he is so rich, 
I cannot forgive her marrying him. Once in conversation with 
some ladies on a something similar circumstance, I said very 
seriously what brought upon me such a storm of outraged 
decorum, that I have never dared think aloud on such subjects 
again : I got my rebuke on that of Lord Fitzwilliam's marriage 

with Lady I forget her name, but she was past seventy 

and he near eighty ; old friends, and nothing more natural or 
rational methought than that they should wish to spend the rest 
of their days together ; " But why need they marry ? " was my 
unlucky comment that scandalized the whole female coterie, 
which, by-the-bye, had not been sparing of satirical remarks 
on the poor old lord and lady. 

Farewell, dear friend, and God bless you. 




KESWICK, December 18th, 1829. 

Dear friend, I must not let your letter remain a single post 
unanswered. If you go before me to that world in which I 
trust we shall meet, not to be separated, I will take charge of 
your papers, and make it my first business to publish in a fitting 
manner the whole of your writings, to be a lasting monument of 
your worth, and of my affection. As for my letters, I will de- 
posit them with yours (for I have preserved every line that I 

N 2 


ever received from you). There is nothing in them which 
might not be seen by men and angels, and though written, as 
their utter carelessness and unreserve may show, without the 
slightest reference to any other eyes than those to which they 
were addressed, I shall not be unwilling to think that when 
time has consecrated both our memories (which it will doj this 
correspondence may see the light. Our earthly life, dear 
Caroline, lasts longer than in the hearts of those we love ; it 
endures in the hearts of those whom we have never known, and 
who learn to love us after our work on earth is done. They 
who live on earth, in their good works, continue to make friends 
there as long as their works survive ; and it may be one of the 
pleasures of another state to meet those friends when they 
seek us in heaven. I often feel that this will and must be so, 
when on reading a good old book my heart yearns towards 

Henry Taylor undertakes the disposal of my papers if he 
survives me which I sometimes fear he may not : not calcu- 
lating, God knows, upon any likelihood of longevity in myself, 
nor desiring it, except for the sake of those who would feel my 
loss, but because he is the son of a consumptive mother, and 
was born but a little while before her death. Among those 
who are much my juniors he is the only man whom I have 
taken to my heart. 

But now let us put away posthumous considerations, and 
think of what we may yet do for ourselves. I knew you would 
delight in Stewart's book, and so you will in Ellis's, and in his 
Polynesian Researches. They are all most interesting books, and 
you will find in them subjects which I hope will tempt you to 
produce something for our projected volumes. Or if you will 
think again of that Irish story, I will send you what I have 
thought as to the manner of treating it, and the matters of 
times, places, and circumstances, for dressing it up. 

Longman has applied to me for a volume of our naval his- 
tory, given in the form of biography, for which he offers the 
same price as he pays to Scott and Mackintosh, being 750 for 
the volume. The volume is small, but holds much ; and the 


prescribed extent is from 350 to 400 pages. But this is large 
pay about the rate of my Quarterly Review payment, and with 
the advantage of one straightforward subject ; and as the task 
is neither difficult nor unpleasant, I have undertaken it, but not 
to make it my employment till midsummer next, if I am 
living and well. At present I am on a life of John Bunyan ; 
on Maw's voyage down the Orellana, for the Quarterly Review ; 
and on the Peninsular War working tooth and nail. The 
more quietly and steadily I am employed, always the more 
cheerful I am : such exercise of the mind seems as necessary 
for my perfect health and spirits as exercise of body is for 
others. But I do not neglect the body ; and as the sun shines 
just now, which he is little in the habit of doing, I shall make 
up my despatches (put my clogs to the fire meantime), and, in 
vulgar English, fetch a walk. 

Now remember that I love your letters, and that it will be 
a great pleasure to hear that you continue to amend. 

Dear Caroline, Grod bless you. 



BTTCKLAND, January th, 1830. 

Your letter came to gladden me on Christmas Day, dear 
friend not till then, though dated the 16th. Kindly and 
freely you have always answered and granted every question 
and request of mine ; kindest of all is your last answer all, 
much more than all I asked. I shall now keep those treasured 
letters while I live, with a clear conscience, and perhaps you 
may have created in my heart a feeling which before (as relating 
to myself) had no existence there a degree of interest in some- 
thing of me that shall survive on earth I mean our correspond- 
ence. All my share in it will find indulgence for your sake. 


I hardly thought you would have preserved letters many of 
which, I feared, had tried your patience. As for any 
manuscript fragments I may leave behind me, I may tell you, 
for your comfort, the longer I live the fewer these will be, for 
I have ruthless fits of destructiveness. In the meantime, I 
mean to live, if I can, just as long as you do, though it would 
be pleasant to bid you the first welcome to our better country. 
Thank you, my dear friend ; I will dwell no longer on a sub- 
ject so satisfactorily settled to me. 

" The Keepsake" has been sent to me for a birthday offering. 
It pleases me well not to find you among that " mob of gentle- 
men who write with ease." Let them have that red book all to 
themselves; there is now a charming equality, a beautiful 
keeping throughout, nothing to distract one's attention from 
the pretty pictures. Poor Alario the Goth keeps ahead in the 
Annual regatta. As to the poetical part of his volume, there are 
no great literary names in his catalogue, to be sure, but then 
there are no lords. 

No, indeed, I will not think again of the Irish story, other- 
wise than that you are to work upon it. I am angry with 
myself that Stewart and Ellis's books, though I do delight in 
them, tempt me not (as you thought they would) to glean from 
them subjects for verse. I cannot identify my feelings, my 
nature, with those of your Polynesian friends, interesting as 
they are ; and, therefore, I cannot make anything of them more 
than if they were seals or codfish. 

I can the more entirely enter into your beautiful view of the 
possibility of making friends here, when we are gone, who shall 
claim acquaintance with us hereafter, because I feel that I 
know and love some who departed hence before my birth almost 
as well as if we had met in the body, and I have sometimes 
fallen into conversation with them as familiarly as you with 
Sir Thomas More. 

One worthy of a past century I have just taken an invete- 
rate dislike to, from that first volume of his Life and Corre- 
spondence (I have not yet reached the second). I mean that 
sanctified coxcomb, Philip Doddridge, that prig of holiness. 


What did the women of that day see in the creature, or find 
in his fulsome flattery and general love-making, rendered so 
odious by the profane admixture of professedly pious with very 
earthly feelings, as to run after him as they seem to have done, 
swallowing with equal docility his inquisitorial impertinence 
and more impertinent adulation ? 

God bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, February 15th, 1830. 

Concerning Horace Smith. He was here some two or three 
years ago with Baron Field (the person to whom Charles Lamb 
wrote that amusing letter to Botany Bay). MilmanVJfa// of^ 
Jerusalem was mentioned, and I said something of the want of 
judgment, as well as of feeling, in mixing up a love-story with 
so awful a subject, in which any mixture of fiction appeared 
almost sacrilegious, for it belonged to something more than 
mere human history. He sent me his Zillah some twelve^ 
months afterwards, with a letter, saying, that what he had 
heard me say had influenced him in timing his story so as to 
avoid all interference with sacred history. I thanked him, in 
reply, for his book, said something civil about it, praising what 
was praisable (not, I think, above its deserts), and complaining^ 
that there was no repose in the story, but always a stream of 
adventures, or an exhibition of costume. He told me the cause 
of this, which was, that Colburn keeps a reader and corrector of 
his manuscripts, who strikes out everything that is not in some 
degree stimulant, and by this person all his digressions and his- 
torical parts, which had been intended as a relief, were expunged. 

Horace Smith is a very clever writer in light verse. I do" 
not think we have a better. Novels I never look into, unless 


there is some special reason for so doing. He has repented of 
some impertinences towards Wordsworth, and made the amende 
honorable for them, and is, I believe, in all respects a wiser man 
than he was in his youth. If my letters were a little too 
complimentary (of which, however, I am not conscious), I 
should hardly repent of it : an ill-natured review to which yoiK 
allude may perhaps have caused a tendency that way. I am 
vexed with the reviewal, as very needlessly severe vexed that 
Lockhart should have published it, coupled with so much praise 
of his father-in-law, which, to say the least, was indiscreet ; and 
vexed that it should have been written by a young man of very- 
extraordinary powers, Heraud by name. I think you have 
heard me speak of him. 

I know nothing of your Quaker friends, except that what 
little of theirs has fallen in my way has pleased me. Dear 
friend, I am inclined to think that those who are most reserved 
when they feel no liking are attracted with most warmth when 
they attract themselves. Towards the greater number of persons 
who come in my way I am cold and courteous. Some there are 
who make me draw into myself, like a tortoise, or roll myself up 
in my prickles, like a hedgehog ; and sometimes, but rarely, I 
bristle like a porcupine at an odious presence. The more liking 
and love, therefore, have I for those who deserve them. Miss 
Jewsbury I have never seen. Dora Wordsworth is very fond 
of her ; but they have never brought her here, probably because 
of her impertinence towards me, for which I daresay she cannot 
forgive herself as easily as I forgive her. The Groth is said to 
have a very amiable wife. He himself, I suspect, is in no good 
humour with me, on the score of his Souvenir, having failed to 
bargain with me, when he might have had JSleemon, before the 
Keepsakers came for it. The fault was his own, not mine. I 
respect his talents, pity his temper, and have not the slightest 
ill will towards him. 

Try what you can remember about Fielding for me. The 
Voyage to Lisbon is the most remarkable example I ever met 
with of native cheerfulness triumphant over bodily suffering 
and surrounding circumstances of misery and discomfort. 


Murray has managed very ill with me about his Family 
Library ', using my name without my leave or knowledge, and 
then making a most inadequate offer not, in fact, half of what 
Longman offered. By-and-bye, however, I will write for him, 
if he pay as he ought to do, two or three volumes of Lives of 
our Divines, leaving out those of whom Izaak Walton has 
written. Biography is easily written, and I like to write it. - 

God bless you, dear friend. 



BUCKLAND, February 20th, 1830. 

Your goodness about Horace Smith rebukes me, though you 
do not, for my spitefulness ; but really I bore Zillah in silence, 
having my heart full of wrath against that hard measure in the 
Quarterly Review, and would not have breathed one word of my 
secret thoughts, though he had gone on cockneyfying all anti- 
quity; but when he invaded mine own territory, mine own 
dear Forest, where he dared get up a lion hunt in one of its 
quiet glades, which never echoed to any sound more ter- 
rible than " Come home, Willy, poor Willy " (the beautiful 
deer call), I could bear it no longer, especially when triumph- 
antly told by that awful man you wrote of, that his friend had 
been encouraged in his literary career by my friend Mr. Southey ; 
then he flourished away about your letter. That said worthy 
once very seriously advised my Uncle Burrard, in my hearing, 
to stick up "some artifical palm trees" on the bare neck of 
shingle whereon stands Calshot Castle. " I am afraid, Mr. K.," 
said my Uncle, with the greatest gravity, " they would hardly 
stand our south-westers." " Oh, yes, Sir EL," rejoined the 
lover of the picturesque ; " you might have them all backed 
with stout boards, and the branches strengthened with iron. 


That plan answered admirably at my friend William Spencer's 
villa, where he gave a fete champetre last year." 

My hope of raking out something relating to Fielding hangs 
on a very slender thread on the recovery of an aged friend of 
mine (a living chronicle of the days that are gone), who has just 
completed her ninetieth year, but is very ill at present. Her 
mind and memory are perfect as in her youth, and if she lives 
to gossip with me again I may pick up something : my own 
second-hand recollections are too shadowy. You would smile 
to overhear a gossip between me and this venerable friend of 
mine the delight of both of us, I believe for I am so perfect 
in the stories of her youth and my grandmother's, that after a 
very little while, when wearied with her subject, she forgets I 
am not my grandmother, and says, " You remember so-and-so, 
my dear," which I always make a point of remembering in the 
way she intends at the moment, and so the conversation never 
flags, till, after some short pause,' she recollects herself, and 
scolds me for letting her cheat herself so long, and forget I am 
not my grandmother. 

Gk>d bless you, dear friend. 




KESWICK, March 13th, 1830. 

The paper upon the Pauper Colonies refers in its table to I 
believe all the publications upon the subject. There is one I 
think by Jacob, who is a very able and judicious man, and on 
whom full reliance may be placed. There will be great diffi- 
culties to overcome in England, arising mainly from want of 
sufficient authority in those to whom the direction of such an 
attempt may be entrusted, and to the insubordinate habits of 
the persons who are to be managed. Before any attempt is 


made, some one who is to take a part in it should go to Holland, 
and make himself acquainted with what has been done there 
upon the spot. The natural disadvantages were far greater 
there ; the civil ones not so many, nor so difficult to overcome 
as with us. 

This morning I finished my work with Bunyan, except what 
is to be done in correcting a few more proofs. Major (the 
publisher) has had the rare grace for a bookseller, of perceiving 
that I had done for him as much again as he had expected and 
bargained for (more perhaps than he had wished), and he has 
sent me a hundred instead of fifty guineas. So he is very well 
pleased, and so am I, although this is very much below the 
market-price of my handy- work at this time. But I consented 
to do it for him, because I liked the task, and thought, moreover, 
the price he offered was as much as the speculation could afford, 
especially as he offered also twenty-five guineas upon every after 
edition, which, though a mere contingency, is yet worth some- 
thing. He proposed about forty pages, and the amount will be 
nearer ninety. He has asked me now to introduce in like man- 
ner an ornamented edition of Robinson Crusoe. 

I have seldom been more disgusted with anything than with- 
the account of Moore's Life of Byron in Blackwood I mean with 
the spirit and manner of the writer, whom I suppose to be 
Wilson. Have you observed in the Keepsake the letter 
about Lord Byron calling me out, and what was to be done 
if he should be the survivor? He knew very well that all 
his calling would not have made me " come and be killed," like 
the ducks in the song ; and a wholesome apprehension of the 
sort of answer which I should have returned to a challenge 
made him wisely determine not to send one. 

Tuesday 15. There is a certain Fraser's Magazine, &-la,-Black- ' 
icood, which has invoked me to send them verses occasionally, 
whereunto I consent upon terms of ten guineas per hundred 
lines. They have got my " Young Dragon " in their clutches, 
and I shall be glad when the money is mine. The Dragon will 
then have been worth fifty-five guineas, which is as much as a 
good horse, and I retain my right over him for after publication. 


They want the Devil also, but the Devil is not to be let loose 
unless a large offer is made for him. 

Dear Caroline, God bless you. 




KESWICK, April 14A, 1830. 

Lady Byron sent me her letter. If she thought it necessary 
to vindicate her parents, she could not have done it better. 
Moore is unpardonable for having made her think it necessary, 
and as for Campbell, it would be difficult to express the thorough^ 
disgust with which I read his rant, and the contempt with which 
I could not but regard the writer. So heartless, so empty, 
vapouring a composition, never came in my way before. It 
might have been written by an Irish fortune-hunter, impudent 
enough to have formed a scheme for marrying Lady Byron, 
and fool enough to think the best way of succeeding in it 
would be to get into a quarrel as her volunteer champion, and 
perhaps receive a challenge. 

The Memoirs I have not seen, but Henry Taylor sent me 
some passages about myself. Most probably in the next volume 
I shall occupy a more conspicuous place ; but Moore, I suppose, 
will be cautious for his own sake. 

Fraser's Magazine will not be much in the way of the Mon- 
ster's, for no one will think of dropping Blackicood for the sake 
of taking another just of the same kind which has its reputation 
to make. They have behaved impudently in making use of 
my name without my leave ; not that I care for it, nor should 
have refused it if they had asked it as a favour. But I shall 
give them a pretty strong reprimand as soon as I receive pay- 
ment, not thinking the matter of consequence enough to write 
expressly about it. 


You will have the whole life of Nelson in the Family Library, 
and a good many insertions. That life will occasion, me some 
little difficulty in the volume of Naval Biography which I have 
undertaken for the Cabinet Cyclopedia. My best way will be 
to say that no life of Nelson is included there, because it would 
only repeat what I had elsewhere said, and to treat the great 
actions in which he was engaged under other names. This I 
believe can be done in every instance except the battle of 

Whenever I go to London you may be assured that my first 
movement beyond it will be to Buckland ; and if it be in a fit 
season, then for the Isle of Wight. Indeed it will be the most 
pleasurable object to which I can look forward, on leaving 
home, whenever that may be. 

By an ornamented edition of Robinson Crusoe I simply mean 
" adorned with cuts," much I suppose, in the same manner as 
the Pilgrim' 8 Progress, in which, to my surprise, Murray has 
thought it worth his while to embark with Major. I have only 
to supply something prefatory either as a Memoir of Defoe, or 
bibliographically, treating of such real adventurers as resemble 
Defoe's fiction, and of such fictions as have been produced in 
imitation of it. 

I have begun the life of Sidney. My series for the Family 
Library will most likely begin with the Black Prince, because I 
must reserve for the Book of the State those persons whose lives 
are inseparably connected with the national history of England, 
such as Alfred, and Robert Earl of Gloucester. The Black 
Prince's exploits were in foreign wars which in the Book of the 
State I shall only refer to in noting their effects upon the state 
and progress of society at home. The list for my first volume 
therefore stands thus at present : The Black Prince, Chaucer, 
Wolsey, Sir T. More, Surrey, Roger Ascham, Fox the Martyro- 
logist, and Essex. Tell me if you can call to mind any who 
should have a place among them. There is nothing more to be 
said of Wicliff e than what I have already said in the Book of the 
Church : and to qualify myself for writing a life of Roger 
Bacon would require more than any price could pay for, and 


indeed than at my age I could afford to bestow upon such a 
subject. Many years ago I urged Davy to take that subject as 
one suited to his talents and worthy of them. 

Dear friend, God bless you. 



BUCKLAND, April Nth, 1830. 

You have long ceased to speak of moving southward, and as 
I was conscious you could not speak of it as a desirable prospect 
on your own account, I hardly allowed myself to wish you 
might do so. My disinterestedness was, however, the less meri- 
torious, as I feel my hold of earth too slight to allow me to build 
castles on it, as I was once too prone to do, and perhaps way- 
wardly mourn that I can do so no longer. I would not live my 
youth over again for all the world, but some of its illusions I 
would give worlds to renew. You are much younger in spirit 
than I am; but it took many, many years (from the age of 
scarce fifteen to twenty-six) to depress, and at last almost crush 
the elasticity of mine, and the looking back upon all the strange 
troubles I then had to steer through affects my mind far more 
painfully now than at the time of their actual existence. All 
through that interval I knew that, for the most part, precious 
time was slipping past me unimproved, wasted, worse than 
wasted ; and yet I could not help myself. I had hardly leisure 
to deplore the irretrievable loss, or to look on from the per- 
plexing present to the uncertain future. Is it not sad to look 
back on such a youth, and to think how late I began to live ? 
The thought might well strike despair into my heart if life 
ended here : it does not, and all will be well, for which acknow- 
ledgment's sake forgive all that precedes it. 

I am glad to find you and I are so entirely agreed on the 


subject of Campbell's letters. Were I Lady Byron, he should 
never more enter my presence after what I should consider such 
an insult to my feelings and womanly dignity. She cannot have 
sanctioned it ; but I think she should not have sent her letter 
to you, entirely unacquainted with you, as I believe she is, 
opposed as you have always been in a peculiar manner before 
the eye of the public to Lord Byron, and hostile as he was to 
you. Lady Byron's referring to you, as she has done, looks too 
like an endeavour to enlist a champion in her cause, which 
needs none, would she let it find its level quietly and gradually. 
I am longing to see some of Blake's engravings from his 
own extraordinary designs, of which I first heard from yourself. 
Do you know whether they are scarce, or dear? They are 
certainly not generally known. Cunningham's life of him in 
the Family Library has strengthened the interest for Blake and 
his works with which your account first inspired me. Mad 
though he might be, he was gifted and good, and a most happy 
being. I should have delighted in him, and would fain know 
how it fares with the faithful, affectionate partner of his 
honourable life. I hope she is not in indigence. Have I ever 
told you that I have lost my kind and valuable neighbours the 
Dalrymples ? Poor Sir John died about five months ago, after 
much protracted suffering, and his widow, partly from pe- 
cuniary reasons, partly from distaste to her home since his 
death, has sold her pretty little villa to some near relations of 
mine, who formerly lived in this neighbourhood, and are now 
returning to end their days here a Mr. and Mrs. Roche. She 
lived much in my father's house before she married, has always 
been in kindness and affection a second mother to me, and the 
person of all others in my own family on whom I rely most in 
time of need. You will be glad to hear such a friend is settling 
near me ; but as yet my satisfaction in visiting their new pur- 
chase (where I am superintending some necessary works previous 
to their coming to take possession) is mingled with painful recol- 
lections of the late owners of the place. It is with a sort of 
dream-like feeling I sometimes find myself standing in the same 
drawing-room, now unfurnished and desolate, where so short a 


time since I was sitting with those now in the grave, or gone from 
thence for ever ; who little suspected then how soon their guest 
would be giving orders for others in their happy home. So 
dreaming, I forget my business with carpenters and painters till 
they wake me with their questions, and then I feel as if I were 
heartlessly intruding some usurped authority, and I give my 
orders in a low voice, and tread softly, as if the dead could hear, 
and might reproach me. How this dreamy temper grows upon 
one ! upon me at least, as I advance in life. It does not help 
to fit one for this world assuredly, but it is no hindrance in our 
way to the other ; at least so I am fain to persuade myself, 
perhaps. The best home news I have to tell you is, that I have 
three nightingales in my little flower garden ; that I not only 
hear, but see them sing, so fearlessly do they sit in the bough of 
an acacia over my head (one of them, at least, and his rivals 
hard by on neighbouring trees). Last winter, during that long 
sharp frost, one of my garden blackbirds got so desperate from 
starvation, that he actually hopped into Mufti's house in the 
yard, and disputed his bones with him. Hunger makes strange 
messmates, as well as Poverty " strange bedfellows." Mufti's 
astonishment overcame his indignation, and Blacky hopped off 
with such a bone as I could not have believed his beak could 
have lifted, if I had not witnessed the feat. I heard the cuckoo 
this morning for the first time, and, by-the-bye, it is Knap I 
think, the author of the Journal of a Naturalist, who says that 
towards autumn and the cessation of its song that bird breaks 
its note into fragments that odd "cuck! cuck! cuck! cuckoo!" 
you first made me observe, and I have since so often observed. 
Here I have written you two acres of letter. What it is to 
encourage some people ! If my last was a week on the road to 
you, your reply was nearly as long on its way Jiere. 

Fare you well, and Grod bless you, dear friend. 




KESWICK, May 8th, 1830. 

You judge rightly about Lady Byron, as you always do ; 
but though I have never seen her, nor held any communication 
with her, she does not consider me altogether as a stranger ; 
for she was very well acquainted with my brother Dr. Southey 
before her marriage, and, indeed, before her acquaintance with 
Lord Byron, and it was through him that her letter was sent. 
Certainly no such thought ever passed across her mind as that 
of wishing me to appear in her defence. She sent it to me as 
to one of whom she had been accustomed to think well before 
my name was ever connected with Lord Byron's. 

My lease is renewed, and I am, as far as ordinary foresight 
goes, settled here for the remainder of my days. I have taken 
the house for five years, with the choice of quitting it at the end 
of that time, or retaining it for another like term. Necessary 
repairs are to be made, as for a new tenant, and in fact work- 
men are now in the house, which little by little has undergone 
great improvement. I have a melancholy feeling that it will 
one day be too large for my family ; but a smaller would not 
contain us now, nor my books at any time, and books are all 
but everything to me. I live with them and by them, and 
might almost say for them and in them. 

I have nothing of Blake's but his designs for Blair's Grave 
which were published with the poem. His still stranger de- 
signs for his own compositions in verse were not ready for sale 
when I saw him, nor did I ever hear that they were so. Much 
as he is to be admired, he was at that time so evidently insane, 
that the predominant feeling in conversing with him, or even 
looking at him, could only be sorrow and compassion. His 
wife partook of his insanity in the same way (but more happily) 
as Taylor the pagan's wife caught her husband's paganism. 


And there are always crazy people enough in the world to feed 
and foster such craziness as his. My old acquaintance William 
Owen, now Owen Pugh, who, for love of his native tongue, 
composed a most laborious "Welsh Dictionary, without the 
slightest remuneration for his labour, when he was in straitened 
circumstances, and has, since he became rich, translated Para- 
dise Lost into "Welsh verse, found out Blake after the death 
of Joanna Southcote, one of whose four-and-twenty elders 
he was. Poor Owen found everything which he wished to 
find in the Bardic system, and there he found Blake's notions, 
and thus Blake and his wife were persuaded that his dreams 
were old patriarchal truths, long forgotten, and now re-revealed. 
They told me this, and I, who well knew the muddy nature of 
Owen's head, knew what his opinion upon such a subject was 
worth. I came away from the visit with so sad a feeling that 
I never repeated it. 

The exhibition of his pictures, which I saw at his brother's 
house near Golden-square, produced a like melancholy impres- 
sion. The colouring of all was as if it had consisted merely of 
black and red ink in all intermixture. Some of the designs 
were hideous, especially those which he considered as most 
supernatural in their conception and likenesses. In others you 
perceived that nothing but madness had prevented him fronr~" 
being the sublimest painter of this or any other country. You 
could not have delighted in him his madness was too evident, 
too fearful. It gave his eyes an expression such as you would 
expect to see in one who was possessed. 

Whoever has had what is sometimes called the vapours, 
and seen faces and figures pass before his closed eyes when 
he is lying sleepless in bed, can very well understand how 
Blake saw what he painted. I am sure I can, from this ex- 
perience; and from like experience can tell how sounds are 
heard which have had no existence but in the brain that pro- 
duced them. 

God bless you, dear friend. I am making up a packet 
for London, and will rather inclose this than wait for a fit 
of leisure which might fill the sheet. Since I began it, there 


is a chance a likelihood that I may be in the south during 
the summer, or autumn, in which case I shall see you. 



BUCKLAND, May 2Qth, 1830. 

I have been disappointed in my hope of acquiring some 
information relating to Fielding for you. My old friend has 
revived again, and we have had another gossip of old times ; 
but I had only the mortification of learning that a few years 
ago it would have been in her power not only to obtain for me 
many interesting particulars about Fielding, but probably much 
of his correspondence. When Mrs. Bromfield (my old friend) 
was a young woman, she was the intimate friend of a Miss 
Collier, who was a very intimate friend of Fielding's. Miss C. 
and her family lived at that time at Ryde, in the Isle of 
Wight, in the only house at that time standing of a better 
sort than the few mean cottages of which Ryde then consisted. 
The ship in which Fielding sailed to Lisbon lay for some weeks 
off Ryde, and he used to come ashore often to visit the Colliers, 
and ramble about the island ; and one of the characters in his 
novels is sketched (Mrs. Bromfield says) from the scolding 
landlady of the little Ryde inn, or rather ale-house, who used 
to quarrel with him fiercely pour cause, vmisemblement. 

Fielding corresponded till the close of his life with Miss 
Collier, and she, till her own decease, with Mrs. Bromfield, 
often writing of Fielding but what, alas ! neither you nor I 
shall ever bring to light, for my dear old friend, thinking her 
account with time was on the eve of an immediate close, some 
two months ago, had the old cabinet, containing long -treasured 
correspondence and lots of other preciously antique papers, 
brought to her bedside, and the whole destroyed with ruth- 

o 2 


less unsparingness ; and of all the Collier family she lost sight 
after her friend's death, previous to which they had quitted the 
Isle of Wight to reside in another part of England, which she 
does not recollect. There is a long story about nothing for you 
or rather (which is more provoking), of what might have been 
attainable two months ago, for a sight of Miss Collier's corre- 
spondence with Mrs. Bromfield might have given a clue to 
trace the survivors of the Colliers, in whose possession Fielding's 
letters to their relation may still be. 

I have been disappointed in a scheme of my own, moreover, 
which, however, afforded me some amusement in the concocting 
of it, and seemed to wile me from myself at a time when I was 
suffering more than usual (last year) in mind and body. So I 
do not repent my folly. I got up the story of my cat in sublime 
style a feline epic illustrated it with appropriate pen etch- 
ings, wrote a very solemn preface, and pleased myself all the 
while with the thought of the said epic's presenting itself at 
Keswick all unannounced, if I could get it published without 
betraying my own identity, or, rather, that it was from the pen 

of the authoress of . Then, I had been told that your 

great man, the Hybrid, was the most likely gudgeon in the 
world to bite at any hook baited with rank and fashion, and 
half my sport was the idea of getting him to bring out my 
nonsense. So, I took a foreign title, sealed with a foreign coat- 
of-arms, all coronet, and sent my MSS. in a dashing carriage, to 
match, through the hands of a fair friend who was charmed to 
manage the intrigue, and whose air of fashion must have its 
weight, I fancied. But she could not see Murray, and left the 
MSS. At the end of a fortnight he returned it to the address 
indicated, with a very civil note, evidencing that he was a little 
puzzled by the mock seriousness of mine, but begging to decline 
the honour of publishing. So I lost my joke, and found I was 
an awkward plotter. But still hankering to come upon you by 
surprise, I tried two other printers, with no better success than 
that. " Though the thing was very well done," said one of 
them, "he feared to risk the expense of the illustrations"; 
and so fallen to the ground is the most unique epic that, I will 


venture to say, ever was strung together by Muse ancient or 
modern; and (to be serious), on thinking the matter over, I 
suspect I may have reason to be thankful to my rejectors for 
saving me from ridicule, which perhaps I might have winced 
under a little, if I had been detected ; though, at the time of 
concocting, I thought of nothing in the world but my own 
sport, and a laugh with you, in fancy at least. 

Now, I am about to attack you in the tenderest point 
your partiality to albums. 

Lady Dalrymple and her sister have entreated me to entreat 
you to bestow on each of them a few autograph words a 
very few will be contentedly and thankfully received, and you 
will have my thanks into the bargain, if that consideration may 
be any makeweight. So I have said what I promised to say, 
and on my own account will add no more now than 

God bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, Whitsunday, 1830. 

Here are your autographs, composed as you will see for the 
nonce, and you have applied for them just in time : for at the 
end of the Introduction to poor John Jones's verses, I have 
given public notice against all applications for such things, 
requested newspapers and other journals to copy my notifica- 
tion, and expressed a hope that Sir James Graham would 
mention it in Parliament. 

I cannot yet tell you whether it will be in autumn or in 
summer that I shall see you, but in one season or the other (God 
willing), certainly. Business, but of no unpleasant nature, 
requires me to be in London ; the time depends upon the pro- 
ceedings in Parliament ; about the middle of June, if the poor 


king lingers on, and the Session should in consequence be con- 
tinued so as to carry through all the business before it not till 
August if a dissolution follow upon his death. You will wonder 
why my movements should be dependent upon such matters. 
No one indeed knows anything of my intent as yet, except 
Eickman, with whom I shall have my head-quarters, nor will 
any other person know my object when I am there, the hay- 
asthma being a sufficient pretext for my appearance. But I 
may tell you that I am going to mix in society with public 
men, attend some of the debates, look with my own eyes into 
the mechanism of parties for which I shall have the best oppor- 
tunities, and collect such facts, substantiated by irrefragable 
authorities and statements, that I may hope by making proper 
use of them to waken the land-holders and fund-holders to 
some sense of their imminent danger revolution and their 
utter ruin being inevitable, and near at hand, unless they can 
be roused by frightening them. I am not without good hope of 
effecting this, knowing what I know ; at any rate it will be a 
great satisfaction to feel, if the worst comes, that I have done 
my duty as I will do it strenuously. Breathe not a word of 
this. I wish August may be the time, not only because I could 
in the interim get through a world of work, but because I should 
then probably, at the end of a short Session, go with Eickman 
to his house at Portsmouth, and from thence to you. 

Fielding must have known the Colliers before his voyage to 
Lisbon ; he was then dying, as they say, by inches, and survived 
it only a very few weeks, for which reason his account of 
voyage is to me the most extraordinary, and perhaps the most 
interesting of all his works. Never did any man's natural 
hilarity support itself so marvellously under complicated dis- 
eases, and every imaginable kind of discomfort. Thank you 
for what you would have procured for me, as well as for what 
you have done. At present I am working like a dragon upon 
Sir Philip Sidney's life, and for the Quarterly Review, hoping to 
clear myself of all quarterly labours for full six months, before 
I start from home. 

Your cat-book must have amused (and will amuse) me but 


of course I should at once have known from whom it came.* If 
your lady-agent had seen Murray he might have been dazzled, 
cautious as publishers are now become. The former class of 
persons who purchased books can no longer afford to do so; 
the booksellers therefore are turning almost their whole atten- 
tion to publications for those who buy cheap works ; for those 
persons they will provide plenty of trash, crude and unwhole- 
some, undigested and indigestable, and sometimes (unconsciously 
on the publishers' parts) carrying poison with it, as in Milman's 
History of the Jews where, not being an infidel, shallowness 
and coxcombry have made him like one. 

Public affairs were never so fearful, to those who have eyes 
to see, and hearts to reason with. You probably know Prince 
Leopold's reason for resigning his fool's-crown : a Regency 
must be provided with the new civil list, in case of King 
William-Henry's death before the Princess is of age, and 
this provides also (most unlikely) in case of his half-craziness 
again becoming whole-craziness. The Whigs mean to set up 
Leopold as Regent, for which he is undoubtedly the most fit 
person. I always thought him destined for this : but then I 
thought him a person of some discretion ; and who but a fool 
would have accepted, as he did, the Kingdom of Greece ? 

Another week will go far towards bringing this house in at 
the windows again, it having been turned out of them for more 
than a fortnight. Meantime I work on unmolested, and mur- 
mur only when I have to hunt about for books whose individual 
places I used to know before the shelves were taken down to 
make place for plasterers and painters. Up they will go again 
ere long, and then I shall sing " be joyful." 

Dear friend, God bless you. 


* The Cat-book was published in 1831 by Blackwood : "The Cat's 
Tail, being the History of Childe Merlin. A Tale. By The Baroness de 
Katzleben." It has three etchings by Cruikshank, after drawings by 
Caroline Bowles. 




RESWICK, August 8th, 1830. 

I am troubled by the events in France. Forty years ago I 
could partake the hopes of those who expected that political 
revolutions were to bring about a political millennium ; now I 
perceive in how many circumstances the present crisis resembles 
that, and find more cause in them for fear than there is for hope 
in the circumstances wherein they differ. 

If the young Duke of Bordeaux were made king, and the 
Duke of Orleans Regent and Protector, I should then think that 
never had any people behaved more gloriously nor more wisely 
than the Parisians. There would then be no after-evils to 
apprehend; the government would have a moral strength in 
itself, and it would have the support of other Powers, so that 
the spirit of democracy would be kept down. But the Duke of 
Orleans has neither wisdom nor virtue to profit by the oppor- 
tunity which he has of acquiring one of the best reputations in 
history ; the Devil offers him a crown, and he will take it ; that 
crown was the object of his flagitious father's ambition ; he ob- 
tains it now in consequence (though not because) of his father's 
crimes. I believe it has long been the object of his own ambi- 
tion, and that the factious opposition to the Bourbons which 
has constantly been kept up for no avowed reason that any 
Englishman could comprehend has this end in view. " It is 
not" therefore, "and it cannot come to good." The tricolor 
cockade was his father's colours, but it became the Eobes- 
pierrean badge; as such the flag has already been displayed 
with black crape over it, and by-and-bye I fear it will be dyed 
as it used to be, in blood. 

I used to think (and often expressed that thought) that the 
Revolution would not have fulfilled its course till the two houses 
of Bourbon and of Austria were exterminated, so much blood 


was upon them both. But no more of this subject, which is far 
more in my mind that I wish it to be. 

Thursday next, if I live to see it, will complete my fifty- 
sixth year, and it will be my first birthday on which there will 
, have been no bell-ringing, for it happened to be the late poor 
king's. There is something melancholy in having seen the 
end of the Georges, the Georgian age having been in part the 
happiest, in part the most splendid, and altogether the most 
momentous age of our history. We are entering upon a new 
one, and with no happy auspices ; but the rougher the road may 
be, the more satisfaction is there in knowing that the end of the 
journey cannot be far off. 

Dear friend, farewell, and God bless you. 



BUCKLAND, August 23rc?, 1830. 

Interesting as your letters always are to me, the last could 
not but be peculiarly so most of all in what related to your- 
self ; and I need not tell you, your birthday did not pass away 
with me unnoted and unnoticed, as too many days of oar brief 
allotment are allowed to pass. If I live till the 6th of next 
December, I shall complete either my forty-third or forty- fourth 
year (I am doubtful which) ; and at that age, with my constitu- 
tion, I may account myself farther advanced than you on the 
downhill way, well content that it should be so ; but when we 
look back from Eternity to this brief account of Time, how little 
will it import us which first paid the reckoning ! For the 
present I feel enough interest in this life to make me more 
than willing to outlive autumn ; but to be with me before the 
last leaf falls, you must be beforehand with October, dear 
friend, for already they are so thickly strewn that before the 


beginning of that month it is probable the trees will be leafless. 
I never recollect such a premature autumn. You and I have 
never met but in autumn or winter in the autumn of the year, 
as in that of our lives. 

The late events in France have affected me exactly as they 
have affected you. 

"We shall see whether the revolutionary spirit yet so active 
will rest content with the " Citizen King." Already the 
government is rather a crowned democracy than a limited 
monarchy, and I cannot believe the anarchists will long sub- 
mit even to that semblance of a crown. At all events, the late 
explosion is surely but the first of many for which the trains 
are laid ready under other countries. Spain, Portugal and 
Italy cannot be long inactive in the day of regeneration, and 
these are times to make all sovereigns think, if they can. Our 
mob king has not had a leisure moment yet. 

I am just returned from an evening ride on my fairy steed, 
and I believe I have met whom do you think? travelling 
along our Hampshire road, in a britzka and four, without a 
single attendant, or outrider no less personages, I verily be- 
lieve, have I so encountered than the ex-king of France and 
Madame la Duchesse d'Angouleme, on their road to Lulworth 
Castle, lent them by my neighbours and acquaintances the 
"Welds, who have preceded the royal exiles to prepare for their 
reception. I suspect the rest of the party have proceeded by 
water, but am almost sure the king and duchess (whom I 
knew formerly) were those who passed me. What a dream of 
greatness ! what an abrupt transition ! The ladies of the party 
have been living at the Fountain Inn at Cowes, for many 
days, walking about on the pier there and at Eyde, and talking 
to everybody who seemed inclined to talk to them. It was signi- 
fied to the king and dauphin, who also wished to land, that it 
might be unsafe, so great is the spirit of exasperation against 
them; so they remained on board, the king gazing at the 
crowds assembled by a regatta, and greatly increased by the 
curiosity to see him and his family. This place has been actu- 
ally depopulated, such is the rush towards Cowes of every 


creature who could move except me, who would fain ha\e 
been farther than I am even here from a sight so painful. 

God bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, September Uth, 1830. 

"We have had all sorts of people here. Dr. Bell, the 
Baroness Grey de Buthin (a fine, lively, good-natured, bold 
baroness), with her mother, Lady Grey, and that mother's 
husband, Mr. Eden, an honourable clergyman. They were an 
agreeable party, with whom I presently became familiar. Then 
came a lady who inclosed to me a note of introduction, and 
sealed her note with Maria. When I went to look for her, 
Maria proved to be a splendid person, tall enough for a grena- 
dier's wife in old Frederick's body-guard, very handsome, and 
agreeable also, though as blue as if she had been dipt in an 
indigo lake. Nobody ever shook hands with me so often in so 
short a time. She is a Miss Boss, of Scotland, where her 
brother has just succeeded Hume as Member for Montrose. I 
saw her only during a half-hour's visit, for she was on the 
wing, and I was bound that same morning for the top of 
Cawsey Pike. But had there been another interview, I think 
she would have sworn eternal friendship. 

There was a report that Prince Polignac and his wife had 
arrived in Keswick, and were lodging here. Certain it was that 
an old gentleman and a young lady were here, who looked like 
foreigners, and conversed in French. " There are the French 
people," Cuthbert said to me the other day, in a low voice, as 
we were about to pass them on our outward way, he on a pony, 
I as his attendant footman. " There they are again," said he, 
as we returned. They had then halted, as if to let us pass, 


when the old gentleman took off his hat, and crossed over to 
accost me. Off came my cap, and I was prepared to hear 
myself addressed as M. Soute, and to muster up my best 
French in reply, when acquaintance was claimed with me in 
very good English by Eobert Adair, once a political notoriety, 
whom I met eighteen years ago at Woburn, where he is still, 
and has puzzled me a little by not introducing the lady, who is 
young and a foreigner. He has sent me up a batch of French 
newspapers this evening, from which I have made some notable 
extracts for use. 

Professor Airy came to-day with his bride. He is the only 
calculating prodigy whose other intellectual powers have not 
been absorbed by that peculiar talent ; on the contrary, he is a 
person of great ability in all things. I hope Edward, who is 
gone to Whitehaven for the pleasure of going down into a 
coal-pit under the sea, will return in time to see him. 

Lockhart, who has no easy office at this time, is disposed 
in some measure to lean upon me, and wants me to write upon 
the affairs of Europe, and especially of the Netherlands. The 
latter subject I have promised to undertake for him, and shall 
be led much into the other whenever the remainder of Robes- 
pierre's (real or supposititious) Memoirs reach me. He tells me 
that Sir Walter has been reviewing my Life of Biuiyan. 

Wednesday, 15th. How fortunate it is that my good pro- 
crastinating bookseller at Brussels did not detain my books till 
this time, in hopes of laying his hand upon those which were 
mislaid, and are now, it must be feared, lost to me for ever. I 
should have despaired of getting them now, for that these revo- 
lutions will bring on a war all circumstances lead me to con- 
clude. The course of foreign affairs, I think, may be foreseen ; 
not so that part of our own concerns which relates to the admin- 
istration, who are to be in and who out. The Duke, I am told, 
always makes his overtures through a woman a Wellesley-like 
way of proceeding, for which there is the oldest of all examples 
in the third chapter of Genesis. 

Through such a channel he has offered Lord Melbourne 
seats in the Cabinet for himself, the two Grants, Lord Palmer- 


ston, and any fifth person whom they may name, except 
Huskisson. But Huskisson is the strength of that party. On 
the other hand, I hear of what seems to be an impossible 
approximation between Lord Grey, Brougham, and the Duke 
of Newcastle. It is a comfort to look at these things, and wait 
for the event, without caring a straw how it may turn out, 
in the sad conviction that weakness on one side is working for 
the same end as wickedness on the other ; and the sure conso- 
lation that Providence will bring about its own purposes at 
last. "What those may be, you and I shall know when we are 
in some blessed star. If I knew which, I would purchase the 
best telescope that this house could hold, and look at it when- 
ever it was to be seen. And if you and I had such wings as 
we shall one day have, dear Caroline, we should be eager to 
begin our flight there. 

God bless you. 




BUCKLAND, October 1st, 1830. 

The ex-royal family have been associating a good deal with 
friends of mine since their residence at Lulworth. Lately the 
Duchess de Berri, her children and suite were taking luncheon 
at my friend's house, and on Polignac's name being mentioned, 
the Duchess exclaimed, Ah le traitre ! nous lui devons tons nos 
malheurs. I hear the other Duchess Madame says, if she 
were to meet him with a dagger in her hand, she would strike 
it to his heart. The Duke d'Angouleme's hand is still bound 
up for the hurt he received in it on catching at the blade of 
Marmont's sword during their altercation at Rambouillet. 

Princess Polignac was a playfellow of mine when we were 
both girls, a daughter of Lord RanclinVs. Poor woman ! I 


fear her weak and guilty husband and his colleagues will pay 
the extreme penalty. A French gentleman, who left Paris last 
week, told me they cannot escape the infuriated populace, and 
that any attempt on the part of the king or government to 
remit the punishment of death, or favour their escape, would be 
the signal of another Revolution. 

I was exceedingly disappointed to find the name of your 
Brobdingnagian lady was Miss Koss, not Miss C , as I hoped 
it was on reading your description of her before I came to the 
cognomen. A certain Miss C is stalking about the land with 
a literary pass, shaking people's wrists out of joint and over- 
whelming them in blue vapour. 

So the last leaves will have fallen before I see you; my 
first impulse was to be very much disappointed at the pro- 
crastination ; my next how contradictory almost bordering 
on satisfaction that I should have the cordial of expectation 
to cheer me so much longer. But welcome you will be when- 
ever you come to me. And so, dear friend, "good night." 
That word recalls to me an affecting circumstance relating to 
a little cousin of mine who died about a week ago, a beautiful 
child of nearly four years old. He had been long perishing, 
and lay for a week before his death perfectly insensible. Just 
before he breathed his last, the child unclosed his eyes,, and 
looked round at his mother and his mother's sister, who were 
watching by him. He smiled in their faces, stretched out his 
arms and said, " Good night, mamma ; good night, aunt Caro- 
line ; good night all ; now I go to sleep " and so blessedly 
expired. His sensations must have been those of sinking into 
sweet slumber. Happy child ! 

Grod bless you, dear friend. 





LONDON, November 3rd, 1830. 

Here I am, dear Caroline, three hundred miles nearer to 
Buckland than I was this day week. I arrived on Monday 
night, and yesterday for the first time heard a debate in the 
House of Commons. Here I shall stay, and work hard as long 
as Parliament continues sitting, and then make my way to you, 
with the intent of proceeding into Devonshire and returning 
home by way of Bristol. 

I am too busy and too weary to say more at present, being 
just returned from a four-hours' round of calls. Only I must 
not omit saying that your story of the child's death is one of 
the most touching I ever met with; and that I have fallen 
in with a certain Miss K , who is a namesake of yours and is 
called by her friends the Caroline. A most comical person she 
is. She had the greatest dislike to seeing me, but a strong 
wish withal to see my cats. But there was a peculiar expression 
about her mouth, which (though she is very ugly) reminded me 
strongly of another Caroline. So I took her into my graces at 
once, and she took me into hers ; and then, having made her 
previous arrangements in fear of me not to stay more than one 
night at Keswick, she went away confessing that she had been 
very foolish and very piggish (they were her own words), and 
wishing she could have remained longer to becomejbetter ac- 
quainted with the cats and with me. 

God bless you, dear friend. 





NEW PALACE YARD, November 10th, 1830. 

I do not wonder, dear friend, that the state of affairs should 
appear more formidable to you at a distance than it does to me 
upon the spot.* There has been just danger enough to excite a 
very wholesome and necessary fear. The remnant of Thistle- 
wood's desperadoes are at work. I believe that the intention 
was to murder the king, as well as the Duke, and to set 
London on fire, and I know there was a plan for massacring the 
new policemen. The streets on Monday and Tuesday were 
crowded with a . set of dirty, resolute-looking men, evidently 
collected for some purpose, a great part of them not being 
Londoners, but from Manchester and other such hotbeds of 
mischief. I should have been struck both by their appearances 
and their extraordinary numbers, even if I had not had to make 
my way among them with a cheque for 100 in my pocket into 
Coutts's bank, and to come out of it with the bills. However, 
I brought them safely home, and slept very soundly, though the 
last thing which I saw was a strong body of police drawn up 
under the front windows. The military preparations were most 
extensive, and, I am told, excellently arranged ; but they were 
wisely kept out of sight, and the only display was of the civil 
force. There are 6000 of these policemen, and a more respect- 
able or efficient set of men no one could desire to see. The 
night passed over without disturbance in this quarter ; in 
others the police (for the first time) made their bludgeons felt. 
There was no call for the soldiers, and the liberty-boys to-day 

* In a letter of November 8th, Miss Bowles wrote : " My dear friend, I 
am so panic-struck at the aspect of the times, that I feel as if I longed to 
draw everyone I love close round me, that the same fate at least may 
involve us ; but perhaps those who listen in darkness and loneliness to the 
advancing tide may be apt to fancy it approaches more awfully and im- 
petuously than it does in reality." 


have in great part disappeared. The best news is, that the 
Government is supposed to have obtained a clue to the movers 
of the mischief, and there is no doubt that the incendiaries are 
sent out by this knot of traitors. 

Some of the many warnings which the Duke received came 
from men so far in league with the Kadicals as to know their 
worst designs, but who now begin to tremble for themselves, 
when open rebellion was to be commenced with a massacre and 
with firing London. 

The Duke certainly goes out, and Earl Grey will be at the 
head of the new ministry. The chief places in the House of 
Commons will, it is supposed, be filled by Lord Palmerston, the 
Grants, Stanley, and Sir James Graham. Brougham will pro- 
bably be Master of the Eolls. It would be equally difficult for 
any administration to stand against him or with him, so great 
is his power, and so little his discretion. 

I had scrawled through this hasty budget of news pour votre 
consolation, as the landlord at Besancon said to me when he 
assured me we should probably be robbed or murdered in 
crossing the Jura the next day. This I could not do in time for 
the post, but have been writing since I dressed for dinner, and 
before going out to that said dinner, for which my stomach is 
crying out loudly, though it was propitiated three hours ago by 
the sacrifice of a dozen oysters. It is at Murray's that I am to 
appease my hunger. You see that I have neither lost my 
spirits, nor my appetite. No man sees the danger more clearly 
in its whole extent, and no one, I believe, fears it less. My 
trust is in God's mercy, and my stand upon the Eock of Ages. 

Farewell, dear Caroline. I shall be glad to find myself on 
the road to Hampshire. Bertha is on her way hither, and will, 
I hope, arrive on Saturday evening. 





LONDON, November 20M, 1830. 

A wet afternoon has given me resting time enough for 
writing a few lines. I have had an hour's conversation with 
the Archbishop, whom I have known some ten years, and with 
whom Bertha (to her great dismay) and I are to dine on 
Wednesday next. He is less pleased with the entrance of the 
Whigs than I am, for I expect most fully that before twelve 
months have expired they will furnish materials for a book to 
be entitled " Grod's Revenge against Liberalism and Whig- 

After this visit I went with Telford and Eickman to see the 
filter by which Thames water is purified for those who do not 
(like Eickman) prefer it in its unclean state. Odd as you may 
think it, there are many who do. It makes better tea and 
better beer because of its impurity. You and I should agree in 
disregarding this, and choosing the cleaner beverage ; but, after 
all, water that requires no cleaning is best, such as I have at 
Keswick, and you at Buckland. 

Half the magistrates ought to be hanged for cowardice. The 
farmers are either frightened, or in league with the labourers 
against the Church and the landlords : they will even effect the 
desirable object of bringing the Whigs to their senses, and 
curing those persons who have been long employed in abusing 
the Government that protected them. 

It is growing too dark and too late for writing more. The 
first quiet I shall have will be when I reach Buckland. Alarm- 
ing as it must seem to have such troops of beggars at your door, 
you, who have no farm, are safe, and effectual force must 
speedily be employed. 

God bless you, dear Caroline. 




BTJCKLAXD, November 21th, 1830. 

If the present state of things goes on, dear friend, your in- 
tended visit to me must be relinquished, or you will pay it at 
some peril to yourself, for this county is even in a more serious 
state of disturbance than you read of in the papers ; and it has 
reached us, though as yet our moles are only local ones, and 
though the most worthless and least distressed of the population 
are hitherto so obliging as to be content with having everything 
conceded to them before they have half spoken their demands. 
What I now see in this neighbourhood explains to me proceed- 
ings in other counties ; and while I feel sure that the least show 
of determined resistance to intimidation would quell the first 
indications of riot, I see that all is lost and everything to be 
feared from the indiscretion and pusillanimity of those who 
should stand forward. However, when the men are all cowards 
it is high time the women should pluck up heart, so I have put 
by my cowardice till there are men in the land again. We 
have as yet had no fires nearer than Southampton. But many 
threatening letters are received night watches, &c., are estab- 
lished, and a most extraordinary measure resorted to here 
all the smugglers with their chief captain of this coast called 
in and organised to act in our defence with the Preventive 
Service men ! If " Poverty makes a man acquainted with 
strange bedfellows," insurrection creates strange combinations. 
Then the male population is converted, as in other places, into 
special constables two-thirds of them on condition that they 
shall not be obliged to act unless what do you think ? unless 
they like it ! and I have not the slightest doubt that six old 
women might rout the whole posse with their bodkins and 
knitting-needles. At a meeting of magistrates, gentlemen, 
and farmers, assembled the other day in the Town Hall, the 
sight of a pitiful village mob marching towards them frightened 

p 2 


them so heartily that some poked their heads out of window 
to promise everything, before anything was asked, and one 
magistrate, taking courage to address them from the doorway, 
began in his trepidation " Gentlemen ! " then he stopt, and 
opened his speech rather more appropriately ; but knowing him, 
I only wonder he had not burst out in his agitation with 
" Friends ! Romans ! countrymen, lend me," &c. It would 
have answered very well I am sure, and have been quite as 
beneficial to the community as what he did say. The ringleader 
of that band of mobbers was so kind as to stop at my door on his 
triumphant way back, and volunteer a detail of their successes, 
not forgetting to dwell with great compassion on having 
"frightened the poor gentlemen terribly." If these proceed- 
ings are samples of those in other places and counties, who can 
be surprised that we are now under mob law ? yet bad as this 
is, I should not feel much apprehension were it not for the 
travelling mob, of near 2000, perambulating the county, actu- 
ally sacking and plundering houses, as well as people on the 
high road. The carriers coming in here to-day through Fording- 
bridge describe that place as having the appearance of having 
been sacked and pillaged which in fact it has been in great de- 
gree. The Cootes of Westcourt, near Fordingbridge, defended 
their house gallantly with only six men, drove off the rioters, 
but poor young Coote is badly wounded. An express came in 
here yesterday for help for Lord Cavan at Fawley, eleven miles 
from hence. How he has fared I know not ; but the vagrant 
mob, as it may be called, really a fearful one, made up of all 
sorts of vagabonds, was at Hythe yesterday near 2000 strong 
twelve miles from here no agreeable neighbourhood ; and I 
beg you will be a little concerned for me, though I cannot 
afford to be afraid myself. I had felt very safe from our mob, 
from my insignificance, but it has oddly happened that I have 
as yet been the only individual in this immediate neighbourhood 
who has had cause for rather serious apprehension, the cause of 
which is now happily removed, a threshing-machine in a barn 
almost touching my premises, which the owners would not give 
up and which the mob would have : and so for three or four days 


I have been receiving warnings (quite full of good will to me) 
from various quarters, to get rid of my neighbours, or it would 
be made into a bonfire with the premises it stood in, and mine 
could not escape, and I believe verily the attack was delayed for 
my sake. But at last the notice was imperative, and the ob- 
stinate farmer gave up his machine, and it has been torn to 
pieces this morning to my infinite joy ; for I shall now go to 
sleep a little more peacefully than I have done for some nights, 
though my house has been watched by the night patrols. A 
charming state of things this for such a one as me ! 

It may be sport to you to think of that same book that is to 
be " God's Revenge against Liberalism and Whiggery," but 
who will be left to read it ? Is it not wonderful that a stronger 
arm than the civil one (Heaven strengthen it) is not put out to 
our aid when it is so urgently needed ? You must bear with 
this country gossip if you please as it may seem to you at a 
distance, for I scorn to talk of fear here ; and as there is a good 
deal pent up in my heart, talking of it to you acts as a sort of 
safety-valve. One very odd thing I must tell you : all the 
dogs are turned radicals, and ought to be reported to Govern- 
ment, Mufti not excepted. Every night and all night long now, 
every road and lane is perambulated by night watchers ; they 
come into our premises, close to doors and windows, &c., &c., 
and not a dog, the most restless, vigilant, and noisy, ever lifts 
up his voice at the disturbance in the faintest yelp or bark. I 
remarked it with astonishment in my own dog, and on mention- 
ing the circumstance several gentlemen, captains of the night 
patrols, told me the silence was general, and greatly puzzled 
and surprised them. God bless you, dear friend. Shall I see 
you here ? What may not happen to prevent it ! But I will 
hope the best. My kind love to Bertha. Did she enjoy her 
visit to the Archbishop's more when it took place than in anti- 
cipation ? 




LONDON, December 1st, 1830. 

You have a good heart, dear Caroline, in every sense of the 
expression. I wish I could disengage myself from this odious 
town, put myself into the stage, and be with you without delay. 
Come, however, I will, as soon as possible, which may probably 
be about the 20th. You are safe now that the threshing-ma- 
chine is no longer your neighbour ; and very soon we shall all 
be the safer for these outrages, out of which good will come, and 
is indeed already coming. Men will feel the use of a strong 
Government, and that the way to possess their property (be it 
little or much) in peace is not by abusing that Government and 
attacking the institutions of their country. The Whigs are well 
frightened, and something will be done for bettering the con- 
dition of the labourers, and providing outlets for their increasing 

I am going to the levee this morning. You would smile 
were you to see me as I shall be two hours hence, in my 
brother's court dress, which hangs about me like a " capital fit " 
from Monmouth-street, with a bag at my head and a sword at 
my side. Inglis takes me there ; and time and case-hardening 
have at length so changed me, that I, who was once one of the 
most shame-faced of all God's creatures, feel myself sufficiently 
at ease anywhere, and shall go to St. James's as I would to a 

You are a very useful person to me, for when I want to 
make a lady a present of some books, I always order some of 
yours. I shall not be so fine myself in bag and sword as a set 
of them is here in green morocco. I am interrupted, so 

God bless you, dear friend, 




BUCKLAND, January 18th, 1831. 

I caught a franker flying this morning, and you have told 
me you " loved my letters," besides giving me your address at 
Bristol till Saturday. Three indifferent reasons thus put 
together must make one good one why I should waylay you 
once more before you reach the end of your pilgrimage.* Then 
I shall fall again into more discreet habits ; but as yet, so easily 
do we accustom ourselves to what we like, I am not reconciled 
to see the place opposite to me vacant, and to feel only that you 
have been here. Writing to you steals me from myself a little 
while, and so makes you the means of keeping me out of ill 
company, which you ought to rejoice at out of pure philanthropy. 

Yesterday the shroud of vapour which has enveloped us ever 
since your departure was drawn aside for a few hours, and I 
ventured out on Minikin, but quarrelled with him as well as 
with my own company ; made him go at a rate he never went 
before, I believe ; and, four miles from home, as I was returning 
over a poachy common, fell in with two cavaliers, Mr. West 
and Major Eoberts, who were so condescending as to form my 
escort home, to the inexpressible pride of Minikin, who capered 
along between their great tall horses in a way that would have 
made you laugh ; but I could willingly have dispensed with my 
guard of honour for, first, it was a great trouble to talk to 
them, mounted on such eminences above me ; next, I was in no 
humour for talking to anybody within reach ; and thirdly, the 
chargers on either side bespattered me with mud from head to 
foot ; and so I rode home, moralising on the axiom, that for 
small people there is more to be risked than gained in approxi- 
mation with great ones. 

One of my esquires, the M.P., Mr. West, told me he did not 
doubt there would be a dissolution of Parliament, and the same 

* Southey was on his \vuy back to Kcswick, after a visit to Buckland. 


opinion has been expressed to me from various other quarters. In 
a letter I received yesterday from MissEose, she mentions a 
rumour which has got abroad in some quarters, that Talleyrand's 
money has furnished no small proportion of that mysterious 
fund which so surely exists for the worst purposes. Knowing 
him to be, as he is, the worthy son of the " father of all lies " 
and all mischief, I should give more credit to this, were it not 
matter of notoriety that the ex-Bishop's idol is gold ; that he 
has no abstract political principle, even in favour of anarchy, 
and would not risk a rouleau to revolutionise England, without 
being sure of doubling it by the speculation ; the very reverse of 
which must result from our national ruin if, as I believe, he has 
large sums in our funds. But I wish he was out of the country ; 
no good influences can emanate from such a traitor. 

I send the little poem I mentioned to you on wild-flowers, 
which was written about two years ago ; and another, to show 
you that what little power I had then is gone from me. I told 
you that the anecdote of little Leonard's death struck me so 
forcibly that I had scarce heard before I tried to versify it. The 
impulsive feeling was almost as strong as any I remember, and 
strong feeling has always been my only inspiration ; therefore 
I ought to have composed these verses as well as it would ever 
have been in my power to have done, and they are miserable, 
weak common-places, that frighten me (do not laugh), for failure 
of mind I cannot think of without shuddering mistrustful 
coward that I am ! If we could but love and trust God as we 
can love and trust our fellow-creatures, what peace, "passing 
understanding," would be ours even in this world ! Such peace 
is yours, I believe ; so be it with you to the end, and God grant 
it to me before the end comes. I have fallen into too serious a 
mood to change for lighter matters, and besides, you have had 
enough of my solitary meditations for one chapter. So good 
night, dear friend ; God bless you, and bring you safe to the 
haven where you would be your own happy home. 

To-day you will be in your own native city. I hope it is not 


wrapt in the sea of dense vapour that still enshrouds us, but that 
the whole beautiful picture may be as clear as you approach it 
as it can appear through that "watery film" that came over 
your eyes at Burton, and will hardly fail to cloud them when 
you look on Bristol for the first time after a lapse of years so 
large a portion of mortal life such a speck in the account of 



KESWICK, January 21th, 1831. 

Here then I am, dear Caroline, at my own desk, and by my 
own fireside, in the cheerfulest room certes that ever author had 
for his workshop. I arrived on Tuesday, and, except a few lines 
to Eickman, inclosing a letter from Kate to Bertha by yester- 
day's post, this is my first epistle from home. Yesterday was 
passed in putting some of my things to rights, and stowing 
away the books which had arrived during my absence ; a lengthy 
and somewhat too-early-timed visit from Chauncy Townshend 
cut out a great slice from the morning, and left me too short an 
allowance for a walk, and no time whatever for writing. 

My journey, saving that I lost my beautiful pencil, by 
lending it to a person with whom I breakfasted at Dorchester, 
the day after leaving you, was prosperous throughout. Tuesday, 
"Wednesday, and Thursday were as busily and perhaps more ex- 
citedly employed in Bristol than any of the days in London. I 
went into my father's house, and was told there that strangers 
had more than once gone into the shop to inquire if it was my 
birthplace. I walked to Bedminster and got admittance into my 
grandmother's ; everything has been changed there ; only some 
trees, principally fruit trees of my grandfather's and uncle's 
planting, are remaining. 

Friday, in the mail to Birmingham ; a wet, warm night. 
Saturday, still in the rain, to Shrewsbury ; Mr. Warter met me 


there ; he is a country gentleman fond of fishing and shooting, 
more fond of natural history, and an active magistrate; his 
wife a very mild and pleasing person; both altogether such 
persons as it is fortunate to be so connected with as I am likely 
to be. At eight on Tuesday morning I was on the Keswick 
stage ; and here I am, thankful for having safely performed a 
circuit of a thousand miles, and especially for finding all well 
after thirteen weeks' absence. 

But oh ! the loads of letters there are now to be answered ! 
To this task I must now betake myself, and work at it tooth 
and nail. 

Will you tell me the name of Levett's house, and learn for 
me, if you can, the reason why the salt trade has declined at 
Lymington. To-morrow I hope to begin my Introduction.* 
Very hard I must work, but not so closely and unremittingly as 
at Buckland. I could not have done what I did there if I had 
been alone ; but it was a refreshment to talk with you, and an 
encouragement to show you piece by piece as it was in progress. 
Cuthbert thanks you for the asbestos and the fern, of which 
he is very proud. And my Governess thanks you for taking 
such good care of me, and Edith and Kate desire to be most 
kindly remembered. 

You are a most unreasonable person if you are not satisfied 
with * Little Leonard's Grood-night.' It is what no one but 
yourself could have written. I should like you to relate some 
incidents which suit the manner in your own sweet blank- verse, 
in simple narrative rather than in a lyrical, which is a more 
ornamented kind ; it would be worth while to try this (which is 
the most beautiful incident I ever heard) in such a form. The 
Swedish Miner's Body is another story of which the most close 
and faithful picture would be the most impressive. But I must 
break off. 

Dear friend, Grod bless you. 


* To the New Colloquies. 



KESWICK, March 8th, 1831. 

I have been reading for the first time Lord Chesterfield's 
Letters, with more disgust than pleasure, and more pity than 
disgust. Such letters must have defeated their own main 
purpose, and made the poor youth awkward, by impressing him 
with a continual dread of appearing so. But it is painful to 
see what the father himself was not, as it appears, from any 
want of good qualities, but because there was one grace a 
thought of which never entered his mind. I have been reading 
also a book of very different character "Sermons upon the 
Application of Scriptural Principles to Real Life," by Miller, 
who sent them to me last week. They are of the very best 
kind plain, practical, full of divine philosophy, and in the 
most Christian spirit. It is for the sake of such principles and 
such men that this Church and this nation are to be saved, if 
saved they may be. 

To-day's paper tells me that "Wynn has resigned his office, 
to my great joy, though he has gone much too far with the vile 
party who are now in power. I can tell you that the ministers 
altered their plan of reform, so as to make it very much more 
radical than they had designed, only two or three days before 
they brought it forward. And it is believed that they did this 
because, foreseeing, from the fate of their budget, that they 
could not long continue in office, they chose to go out in a 
blaze rather in a stink. A villainous motion, but perfectly 
worthy of that party and that cause ; they wish to leave 
affairs in the worst possible state for those who are to succeed 
them, and to prepare for themselves active allies among the 
Radicals. It would not much surprise me if the Grants were 
to do as Wynn has done ; for their own sake I might wish it. 
But a Conservative ministry will be better without them. 

March llth. And without them it will be, for Robert 
Grant has spoken, and chosen the evil part. 


If you write to your Marquis, will you ask him in what 
repute the St.-Simonists are, and whether their system has any 
perceptible effect upon their manners, or whether they are as 
profligate as the rest of the world in which they live ? I am 
reading the Exposition of their doctrine, which is written with" 
very great ability. As yet I have not been able to get any 
satisfactory history of St. -Simon himself. Now the life of the 
founder enters materially into the view of a new religion. 
What he was I have no means of judging, but his disciples 
seem to be deliberately endeavouring to establish ^, new social 
order upon the basis of a pretended revelation, so reasonable in 
all its parts as to preclude any pretence of delusion or en- 
thusiasm in them. 

These men seem to me, having no religion themselves, to 
perceive that some religion is necessary for society ; to suppose 
that Christianity is worn out because the French have very 
generally thrown it off in the only form in which it was known 
to them ; to be aware that Theophilanthropism, which was tried 
under the Directory, failed for want of a foundation ; and to be 
trying certainly the boldest experiment that has been attempted 
since the time of Mahomet, or of Manes. Whereas, if they 
knew what the Grospel is, they might see that by it, and only 
by it, the good at which they aim is to be effected. 

God bless you, dear friend. And observe, let not your next 
letter be wickedly short. 




KESWICK, March 26^, 1831. 

The next Quarterly Review will contain a history of Ba- 
boeuf s conspiracy, on which I am now at work, and the 
St.-Simonists will come in the number after. No two subjects 
could be better timed ; for you must know that this new sect is 


aiming, by means of their new revelation, to bring about what 
Baboeuf was for getting by spoliation and massacre. 

I do not know who wrote the paper on Reform. I am 
much obliged to Mr. Fripp for his expressions of civility. As 
for private attentions, I should only have had too many of 
them had my stay in Bristol been longer, or my being there 
more generally known. But for public marks of respect there 
was but one which could have been shown to me ; and though 
it would have annoyed me very much at the time, this Reform 
Bill, oddly enough, makes me wish that it had been offered 
you will guess that I mean the freedom of the city. If they 
had presented me with this the Reform Bill would have taken 
it away, and upon that ground I would have sent up a petition 
solitary against the Bill in divesting me of what had been thus 

April 1th. An American lady is lodging in Keswick, who 
introduced herself to me five or six years ago by two little 
volumes of poetry and by a most wild letter certainly the 
strangest letter I ever received. She has now accompanied her 
brother to Europe, and while he is travelling about on his mer- 
cantile business, she thought Keswick would be a good place in 
which to await, and accordingly here she came, with a longish 
poem which she wants to publish, but for which she can find 
no publisher. Her name is Mrs. Brooks.* She was betrothed 
to an old man at the age of fourteen, and married him at six- 
teen ! And now, when she does not appear to be more than 
two or three and thirty, she has one son in business in the Isle 
of Cuba, and another at a military academy in the United 
States. She is a very mild and pleasing woman, to our utter 
astonishment at finding her so, as it would be to yours had you 
seen her letter. 

Her poem is very fanciful, and, on the whole, beautifully 
written. The subject is like the story of Tobias the love of a 
fallen angel for a Jewish girl. I believe she means to leave it 
in my hands, in the hope of its getting into the press at some 

* " Maria del Occidentc," author of Zophiel. 


time or other. But by what I have seen of it, it would in somo_ 
places require cooling, and if it should be necessary for me to 
let her know this, you may suppose that I shall be in a state 
which novelists might call delicate embarrassment; yet you 
could not help liking her were you to see her not for beauty, 
nor for any other attractiveness than what proceeds from a 
meek, gentle, unassuming, unaffected, kind nature, and from 
perfect simplicity of manners. But, in truth, the longer I live 
the less am I disposed to trust to appearances, whether in man, 
woman, or child, or to speak more truly (for the disposition is 
not easily got rid of), the more reason I find for not forming a 
hasty judgment of them. One of the most calm and rational 
and sober-mannered men whom I ever met with was under that 
exterior a most dangerous madman, and this was never sus- 
pected till it was brought to light by his papers after he had 
committed suicide. I think you have seen his two anonymous 
letters to me, asking me to take charge of those papers. 

After all, I like those people best who seem to be what they 
are, and are what they seem ; indeed, they are the. only people 
whom I can love. 

April 17th. You may be easy about the Reform Bill the 
delusion is falling as rapidly as it was raised. Its manifold 
absurdities, its Whiggish roguery, its abominable injustice, its 
contempt of all constitutional principles, are producing their 
proper effect. All my letters agree in this. Even those who a 1 
fortnight ago looked for nothing" better than the fall in the 
breach are now ready to toss their caps in the air for joy. Out 
the Whigs will be driven, and with more ignominy than ever, ] 
for their rashness, their folly, and what I cannot but call their 
wickedness. They kindled a fire which might have set the 
kingdom in flames, but will now suffocate them with its \ 

Here is a song which I made at my usual time of inspira- 
tion, while shaving, tempted by the hero's name even more 
than by its merits. I sent it in a blank cover, and in Edith's I 
writing, to John JBull, but the newspapers are afraid of this 
man, and so it has not appeared. 


Must the Gorman Great 

Out of Parliament go ? 
Bad luck to that ugly committee ! 

If out he should call, 

And then shoot them all, 
There's no one would say, " What a pity ! " 

My patriot, my Paddy, 

My mighty big Raddy, 
Och ! why did you, why did you bribe ? 

In the county of Clare, 

The grief that is there 
I cannot, I cannot, describe. 

Och ! my honey, my honey, 

It was not for money 
That the lads of the Roman communion 

To Parliament sent you, 

But with the intent you 
Should get a repeal of the Union. 

All Clare gave its voice 

To that beautiful choice 
That the sons of the Saxons and Normans 

For once might see there 

What true Irishmen were ; 
So we sent them the greatest of Gormans. 

He soon let them know, 

Did the Gorman Great 0, 
That he was not a man to be mister'd, 

And who gave him offence, 

Upon any pretence, 
That man's tongue might have better been blister'd. 

Och, the figure he made, 

And the shirt he display'd ! 
His meaning was clear as a crystal ; 

One speech (bless him for't!) 

In the very report, 
Sounded just like a duelling pistol. 

You may call him, I say, Gog, 

Or, if you like, Magog 
D'ye hear me, Sir James ? if you dare it ; 

But demagogue, no ! 

For the Gorman Great 
Has sworn by the powers he won't bear it. 


Sir James and young Stanley, 

You'll be playing the manly 
When he stands no longer before ye ! 

For you know that our Dan 

Must not fight, but he can, 
So we'll soon send him back in his glory. 

But this I'll allow, 

You may spare him just now 
For awhile, to his own quiet nation, 

For by what I hear say 

You are in a fair way, 
"Without him for enough agitation. 

You ask me about Sotheby's " Homer.'' I have not seen 
it, nor do I wish to see it. It may be very good in its way, but 
that way is radically bad, and no one who has any real feeling 
of Homer can possibly read without disgust a translation of 
Iliad and Odyssey in couplets, especially in modern couplets. 

Cowper's translation is, of all the English ones, that whichr^ 
least disfigures the original. Old Chapman's I should reckon 
next to it. Hobbes's is marvellously bare and bald ; Macpher- 
son's impudently Ossianized. Sotheby's I daresay will be less 
glaringly unlike than Pope's, for Pope's Homer has done more 
than any, or all other books, towards the corruption of our 

Dear friend, Grod bless you. 



KESWICK, May 2nd, 1831. 

We shall weather this storm, though it is the fiercest that 
has ever yet assailed the country. But by Grod's providence 
the devices of the weak and the wicked are counteracted in a 
great degree by the growing prosperity of our manufactures. 


which extends of course to the agriculturists, and will continue 
till the Continent recovers from its revolutions. Fear not, I am 
in good heart. Wordsworth, who was here yesterday, said it 
was a comfort to see my cheerful face. God has not abandoned 
us, and will not while there are those who trust in him, and act 
in that path strenuously. There are many such. I am assured 
that the tide has turned among the youth at both Universities ; 
they were taking the wrong course two or three years ago ; they 
are now taking the right one. Many indeed of the rising gene- 
ration have received their bias in some degree from Wordsworth's 
writings and from mine. 

When I visit you next you shall have a large portion of my 
time, and I will not bring a task with me which shall keep me 
tongue- and table-tied like the last. But I will give myself a 
good resolute spell at poetry there. This may be sooner than I 
like to think of at present. 

Here is a circumstance which would do well for poetry in your 
hands. At Roeskilde, the oldest cathedral in Denmark, Warter 
observed a fresh garland on a grave, and inquiring for whom 
it was placed, was told that every Sunday morning a daughter 
had placed one there on her mother's grave, for thirty years ; 
verily, as Warter added when he wrote home the anecdote, 
"love is stronger than death." 

Now have I three things more to say ; first, that if your 
Merlin had but a white neck his portrait would just do for our 
Knurry-murry-purry-hurry-skurry, of whom a mouse might 
truly say 

" It is a green-eyed monster that doth mock 
The food it feeds on " ; 

but who is, nevertheless, the gentlest and most ladylike of cats, 
Secondly, which you will be interested in hearing, if you 
do not know it already, that your friends the Howitts have 
taken Mrs. Wordsworth into their house in a most helpless 
state, when she was completely laid up with an attack of 
sciatica at an inn. They had no personal acquaintance with 
the Wordsworths before, and there she is now, and her daughter 
with her. 


Thirdly, which of all things in this letter most concerns ine, 
there is a certain portrait at Buckland, and a promise concern- 
ing it which I pray you not to forget. 

Mrs. Brooks* sailed from Liverpool ten days ago. The 
history of her mind I can very well understand. She was 
married when almost a child to an elderly, if not an old man, 
who had no mental accomplishments in any degree to make 
amends for the disparity of years. She was passionately fond 
of poetry, and had a heart full of it ; he thought of nothing but 
his affairs. And I dare say she has always been dreaming 
what a happy creature she might have been if she had been 
united to one who would have loved her as she could have 
loved him, and would have sympathized with her in her intel- 
lectual enjoyments. I am not without some suspicion that 
there may be a little flightiness about her ; her eyes had an 
expression which looked that way, and I think the letter of 
which you heard would not have been written had she been 
mistress of herself at that time. The more we saw her, the 
better we liked her, and her brother seemed to be a thoroughly 
good sort of man, a Quebec merchant well informed for his 
station, and right-minded upon all subjects. You icouM have 
liked her, and could not have helped liking her. 

Dear friend, God bless you. 




BUCKLAND, July 8th, 1831. 

You are at home long before this I hope, dear friend, because 
it is "the haven where you would be " and, though out of my 
turn, I am fain to write to you, because I am heavy-hearted, for 

* " Maria del Occidente." 


which writing to you is always my second best medicine ; and 
now in particular, as I am sad at thought of parting with dear 
friends (the Levitts) whose final departure from Hampshire 
draws very near, I turn impulsively to one whose correspond- 
ence only I would not exchange for personal intercourse with 
any other human being, and who has led me by his hopeful 
spirit to look forward with more confidence and comfort than 
my weaker mind might have dared encourage to the renewal 
and perfecting in a better life of friendships contracted here in 
holiness of heart, and so faithfully enduring to the end. How 
should I bless you, if it were only for strengthening me in 
this blessed hope ! I cling to it, as a shipwrecked creature to 
the life-boat. 

I have been furnished with another pretence for writing to 
you by a request which has been addressed to me to be passed 
to you, but one so absurd, in my opinion, that I have made no 
promise of gravely preferring it, or any hope of a favourable 
hearing. It is the petition of the Miss Eoses (Sir Greorge's 
daughters) that I would contribute to a miscellaneous volume 
about to be compiled and published for the benefit of the starv- 
ing Irish, and that I would use all my influence and interest 
with Mr. Southey to prevail on him to do the same. So I have 
said all I engaged to say, which is the utmost stretch of my com- 
plaisance, for I cannot afford a line of rhyme or prose to this 
very well intended but very ridiculous joint-stock affair a book 
now to be got together, printed and published, for so urgent and 
immediate a purpose as that assigned ! You are much better 
natured than I am will you give something ? 

I think your friend the venerable Dr. Bell is no better than 
an impostor, drags you out of your den, at great inconvenience 
to yourself, to confer with him (I thought on his death-bed) 
about testamentary dispositions, &c., &c., and then, what do I 
hear, but that the dying man starts off with a Cheltenham party 
(a picnic I suppose), to show you to the Cheltenhamites, and to you 
ostensibly the source of the Thames ? And at the Doctor's you 
fell in with my lively and clever acquaintance, Miss Alicia Allen, 
whose father's house is the great lion trap of Cheltenham and 

Q 2 


there were such designs against you ! You would have been 
obliged had they caught you to shake your mane and your tail 
far more meekly for the benefit of the company than you did 
here, on the only occasion I ever proved treacherous, and let in 
the Philistines upon you. Miss Alicia Allen says you frightened 
her about the state of the country. Now, you being the only 
person from whom I have heard a cheerful word on the subject 
for the last six months, if you begin to despair, I shall look for 
the worst. 

The Levitts desire to be very kindly remembered to you ; 
they have let their delightful house for five years, not having 
succeeded in finding a purchaser, and depart from it the last week 
in this month ; I wish they were gone, just as one would wish 
hanging over. I will not suffer myself to be betrayed into any 
more intimacies. It is only storing up pain and disappointment. 
I used to comfort myself with the belief, that as I declined in 
years, I should become (as is fitting) less morbidly sensitive 
to those trials of the affections that break young hearts, but I 
find to my sorrow it is quite the contrary with me that a 
young heart broken is not irreparable, but that an old one early 
bruised and ill repaired, and nobody's care but the owner's, is 
easily set aching by an ungentle touch, and shrinks to the very 
core at a rude one. Such is not healthy feeling, only pitiable, 
but Grod cares for and pities all His creatures, the wisest and the 

Grod bless you, dear friend. 




KESWICK, July llth, 1831. 

My visit to Cheltenham was as useless as I had anticipated, 
and as melancholy in all respects as it could be ; but I was not 


exhibited there, and you may be sure that I did not exhibit 
myself. I went, by my own desire, to see the Springs, and two 
of the Allen family went with us ; your friend was not one, but 
she called on the following day with her father, and they both 
seemed likeable persons. As to alarming them : I thought it 
quite fitting, in political cases (whatever it may be in medical 
ones), that people should be made to understand the nature and 
extent of their danger : and so far, it may be very likely that I 
alarmed some of the few persons with whom I had any conver- 
sation at Cheltenham ; but, to them, as to you, I spoke with a 
confidence that Providence will bring us through these dangers, 
if we do not basely betray ourselves. 

It was impossible for me to accept the trusteeship. Poor 
Doctor Bell's first concern is how to dispose of all his money in 
promoting his own system of education; and his second, that 
as much of it may go to Scotland for this purpose as can be 
disposed of there. After giving away 120,000, Three per cents. 
in trust, he had yet to direct the disposal of it; and on my 
arrival I found that he had resolved upon dividing it into twelve 
shares, six of which were appropriated to St. Andrew's, and four 
more for schools at Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Inver- 
ness, which four may be considered as so much money thrown 
away. I was consulted about the other two : after observing that 
as this money had been derived wholly from the Church of Eng- 
land, some portion of it ought to return thither, I proposed that 
one twelfth should go to the augmentation of poor livings, and 
the other (which I knew was the only means of obtaining any 
favour for such advice) to founding one of his own schools in 
every parish so augmented. By vesting this sum in the hands 
of trustees, it might have been so managed that every 200 
would have called forth as much more from Queen Anne's 
Bounty, so that forty poor livings might have been benefited to 
the extent of 400 each, that is, from 12 to 20 a-year, 
according as the money could be with more or less advantage 
invested. Well, he was delighted with this ; and came into 
it with so much earnestness that I was quite affected at the 
thought of having been almost the accidental means of bringing 


about so much good. But the next day he changed his mind 
schools, schools must have all. The newspaper brought an 
account that there was to be a new Boyal Naval Asylum ; he 
puts this paper into my hand at our first meeting in the morning, 
and writes on his slate "this is a God-send." Accordingly one- 
twelfth went there, and there remains one more, and the eventual 
residue of his property, which, I suppose, is still considerable, to 
be disposed of. I mentioned the Clergy Orphans' Fund, the 
Society for propagating the Gospel, Bishop Middleton's College 
at Calcutta, or a like institution to be commenced at Madras; 
but all must be confined to schools, and the schools, if possible, 
to Scotland. 

I mentioned his relations. He gives his only sister 400 
a-year for her life, and nothing but the most trifling legacies 
to any other of his blood. They were not near to him, he said 
(on his slate, observe, for he has totally lost his speech), they had 
no claim on him. No claim, I admitted, but a reasonable 
hope, a reasonable expectation, where there were none nearer,, 
where there was so much to bestow, and where the law would 
give it if he died intestate. He wrote " My discovery is my 
child." "Yes, sir," I replied, "it is your child, and you have 
taken very good care of it ; but it is not all your kith and kin." 
This availed nothing, and when I expressed a wish that some- 
thing more than 100 should be left to the person who had been 
most useful to him in his own way Mr. Johnson, the master of 
the Central School a shake of the head was the reply ; all, all 
was to be devoted to his discovery ; he would be (on the slate) 
" consistent and consecutive to the last." A stranger or more 
melancholy example of some ruling passion, good in itself, 
becoming evil in its excess, and stifling all other good and 
generous feelings, can hardly be imagined. The sister, I have 
no doubt, will endeavour to set the will aside. I endea- 
voured to turn this to some use, and advised him, instead 
of leaving her an annuity, to make her residuary legatee, and 
give her something of which she might dispose to her relations 
after her death ; she would then be satisfied, and thus litigation 
would be prevented. But to this he would not listen ; very, 


indeed, very indignant at her attempting to set up a plea of 
insanity against him. I represented to him that groundless 
as this is (and indeed nothing can be more so) and perfectly 
untenable, yet something must be allowed to her surprise and 
disappointment. He had made what all persons must consider 
a most extraordinary disposal of his property ; many would 
think it unwise, and it was easy for those whose expectations 
were cut off by it to fancy that insane which they believed to be 
unreasonable. All that I said was taken in good part, and all 
to no purpose. But I suppose that my journey will not be 
altogether as unproductive of evil as it has been of good; it will, 
in all likelihood, take me before some Ecclesiastical Court to bo 
examined as a witness when the will is disputed. Nor will it 
surprise me if the bequest intended for me, as joint editor of his 
works, should be expunged in the last edition of his will. Be 
that as it may, I shall always retain a lively and affectionate 
remembrance of him, such as he was when I knew him first, and 
for many years afterwards a lover of children, if ever man was, 
from pure benevolence and kind feeling towards them ; and set 
beyond all men in the pursuit of one great object, and devoting 
his whole thoughts, his whole life, his whole fortune, to it. 

Poor Bowles ! I have seen only the first volume of his Life of 
Bishop Ken, and sorry I was that I could not review it without 
mortifying him, however carefully I might have abstained from 
noticing the faults of the book. But to have written Ken's life 
as it ought to be written would, in its effect, have been the 
most unkind thing I could have done, if done in the form of a 
review. This withholds me from a very tempting subject, the 
more tempting because I claim kin with Bishop Ken. 

You ask about the Howitts. The Wordsworths left them full 
of gratitude for their kindness, and full of liking for Mary. 
But her husband, whom they might otherwise have liked much, 
though never quite so well, had the Reform fever upon him so 
strongly as to put the cloven foot of Quakerism offensively 
forward ; not when Mr. Wordsworth was there, for all these 
people would as soon take a bull by the horns as to show theirs 
eithor to Mr. Wordsworth or to me, but to poor Dora, who left the 


room one day when he had been exulting on the near downfall of 
the Church, and asserting that any person who was a clergyman 
of the Establishment must be either a fool or a hypocrite : this 
to her, when her brother and uncle are clergymen ! He apolo- 
gised to her afterwards, and did not repeat the offence, having 
been well reproved for it by his wife ; but the circumstance shows 
what these sectarians are when the latent spirit is brought out. 

I have been working hard since my return, both at the 
Colloquies and at the Peninsular War, making hay while the 
sun shines in other words, making good use of the interval 
between reviewing times. At this season I have seldom less 
than two hours' walk (including a delicious bath in the Greta) 
every day ; for if I were disposed to stay within, Cuthbert comes 
up with an asking countenance, and I do not like to disappoint 
him. Bertha is come home with a sad debility about her ; her 
ankles swell and disable her for the exercise which she requires. 
If they had not the happy spirits of youth, these daughters of 
mine would all be miserable invalids: and of course I cannot but 
think of the time when that season will be over, and they may, 
too probably, have less cheerful circumstances about them. Their 
mother is better than she has been for many years, and for 
that I am most truly thankful. 

There is a story of a Spaniard who was fond of cherries, and 
whenever he ate them put on spectacles to make them look 
larger and finer. I do this with all my enjoyments of every 
kind : make little pleasures into great ones, and put on dimi- 
nishing glasses when I look at inconveniences. Our dangers are 
to be looked at in their own just magnitude; there is no trifling 
with them ; but this way of mine adds largely to the comforts, 
and diminishes in the same degree the annoyances of life. This 
my children seem to have inherited or learned; and with this 
true worldly wisdom, and that better wisdom which, prepared as 
they are, time will surely bring with it, of looking to the next 
state of existence with a constant and cheerful hope, they 
will so far be well fitted for whatever may befall them when I 
am gone. Anastasius Hope has left a posthumous book with 
his notion of heaven in it the most preposterous heaven that 


ever was conceived. We are all, all of us, men, women, and 
children, good and bad, of all sorts, tempers, characters, and 
complexions, all to make up one great human being, this being 
the ultimate perfection of the human race ! Why I would 
rather drink ale in Valhalla out of the skull of the Lord Advo- 
cate Jeffrey (he being mine enemy), or out of Thomas Babington 
Macaulay's, if his be the larger cranium and the ale be good. 
No, Caroline, you and I will not be mixed up with Anastasius 
Hope, and Solomon and all his wives and concubines, and the 
whole courts of Louis XIV. and Charles II., and all the monks 
and nuns that ever lived, and all the radicals, and all the Turks, 
Jews, Infidels nay, not even with all deans and chapters (if 
there were nobody else), and all dissenting ministers, and all 
bazaar ladies. No, no, no ; it would be no heaven for you and 
I to be mixed up in such a compound, and made bone of their 
bone, and flesh of their flesh. We shall keep our identities 
there, and all our good feelings, and all our recollections, that 
either are or can be made instrumental to our happiness, and we 
shall lose nothing but what it will be ease to part with 
sorrows, and frailties, and infirmities. We shall not lose our 
own very selves, nor each other ! 

Grod bless you, dear friend, and bring us both (He will bring 
us) into that blessed state in his own good time, and fit us for 
it more and more till that time comes. July 12th. 




KESWICK, November 4th, 1831. 

Your fit, dear friend, can have been nothing more than what 
they tell you it was. The strong are far more in danger of 
paralysis than the weak, and if his most senseless Majesty, 


King William IV., should receive what, so far as he and his 
Ministers are concerned, would be the proper reward of his folly 
and their wickedness, you may live to see a Eestoration. 

Your former letter did not reach me till I was leaving 
Shrewsbury for Manchester, on Monday, the 10th, last. I 
had been four days at Cruck Meole, and left Edith there as 
happy as I could wish her. Mrs. Warter is a very amiable 
woman, and loving her eldest son dearly, was perfectly pre- 
pared to love her intended daughter; and as both have no 
greater pleasure than in talking of that son, they are the best 
possible company for each other. Mr. "Warter was as kind to her 
as man could be. Dr. Butler told me that, of the many young 
men who had been under his care, there was not one of whom 
he had a higher opinion in all respects than John Warter. 
Perhaps you may not know that no school has for many years 
been in higher repute than his. At home he is just as much 
beloved for his disposition and his moral qualities, so that so far 
all is as well as could be wished. The family is also precisely 
in that station into which I could have chosen to place her, 
had the choice been in my power; for, thank Grod, I never 
desired riches either for myself or my children. Yet you 
may well suppose that this visit was not likely to exhilarate 
me while it lasted, and I did not leave Edith there without 
feeling that she seemed already to belong more to that family 
than to me. 

I could not open my letters till I was seated in the stage 
for Manchester, luckily without a companion. With yours there 
came one proposing to me to become candidate for a Professor- 
ship at Glasgow, with all but a certainty of success. At the 
same time I had the news of the decision in the House of 
Lords enough to think upon while I was travelling alone. 

James White met me when the stage arrived. Tuesday I 
stayed with him, about a mile from the town, and went that day 
to see the railway and the Collegiate Church, which is a very 
fine one. Wednesday was the day of the meeting; and James 
White being frightened by his clerk with the apprehension of a 
riot, and taking it into his head that I might be as popular in 


Manchester as Sir Charles Wetherall at Bristol, would not let 
me dine, as we were engaged to do, in the town, and set off 
from thence at six o'clock in the stage, but carried me off with 
his brother Charles, who was likewise bound for Keswick, by a 
circuit round the town to Bolton, where the stage took us up. 
This I call my Hegirah from Manchester; but, in truth, I 
had no apprehensions myself, and there would have been no 

I will make your verses for your poor musician when I can ; 
but verily I could plan such a poem as Thalaba more readily 
than those stanzas for music. 

It is likely that the first volume of the new Colloquies may 
be published first, and at Christmas. This is desired, that the 
question of Reform may be brought forward there in time, some 
great change being now unavoidable. My aim is to make it as 
little dangerous as we can, aud I see no way by which this can 
be effected but by giving a vote to all who pay direct taxes, as 
householders, and rendering that concession safe by allowing 
them only to elect the ultimate electors from persons of a 
certain qualification. 

Grod bless you, dear Caroline. 




BUCKLA.ND, December 2nd, 1831. 

An officer with whom I conversed yesterday told me he had 
just read the copy of a military statement by which it appears 
that there is good reason for supposing the Bristol affair was 
but part of an extended plan of simultaneous rising between 
Birmingham, Manchester, and other cities, together with the 
Merthyr Tydvil people ; that communication has been ascer- 
tained to have been carried on by means of carrier pigeons, and 


that the quick march of troops upon Bristol, and some towards 
Merthyr Tydvil, alone stopped the advance of an immense body 
of the latter people to join the coalition. These last were so 
determined, that they removed all the boats and vessels, to 
prevent the crossing of the king's troops, and endeavoured to 
disable a steamer, in which the military did eventually pass. 
If this statement is true, there has been a coup manque. The 
Merthyr Tydvil men would be fearful auxiliaries. 

I have read Moore's Life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, with 
how much pleasure and disapprobation you must understand, 
even before I read your review of it, which did but coincide 
with all my feelings. Was ever such a lovable creature such 
a beautiful character in private life ? But from the first what 
the French call a tete exaltee morbid craving for excitement. 
His marriage with Pamela certainly sealed his ruin ; for, how- 
ever tenderly all that concerns her is glossed over by the 
Leinster family and the biographer, all the Leinsters were 
obliged to give her up at last, so discreditable was her conduct ; 
and the woman whose common coiffure after the murder of 
Louis XYI. and his family was a crimson handkerchief, then 
the reigning Paris mode, cense to have been dipped in the 
martyr's blood, was not likely to have acted the part of a re- 
straining angel to her unfortunate, misguided husband. I was 
charmed with the tenderness with which you spoke of Lord 
Edward whenever you conscientiously could. 

God bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, December llth, 1831. 

My brother tells me, what I felt assured of before, that no 
house could be better situated than this in case of pestilence. 


No doubt the cholera will make its way over the island, and 
nothing can be done but to await it, and trust in God's mercy 
for our own protection. "We might consider ourselves in as 
little danger here as in any place, if it were possible to exclude 
vagrants from the town, the common carriers of all infectious 
diseases. I am one of the Board of Health, and at my sugges- 
tion all that we can do is doing to prevent these miserable pests 
of society from being harboured here, as they have hitherto 
been. Government recommends three precautionary measures, 
all of which are impossible to keep the poor clean, to feed 
them well, and to lodge them in spacious and airy habitations ! 
The sordid squalid wretchedness and the brutal depravity in 
which we have suffered the populace to remain, without the 
slightest attempt to correct either, threatens now to bring upon 
the nation their proper consequences. Yet my ever hopeful 
temper rests in the hope that Providence will manifest the 
whole danger to us as a warning, and then avert it. 

I once sat in the next box to Pamela, in the Bath Theatre, 
and next to her, on the second row of the one box, while she 
was in the front seat of the other. There could not be a better 
situation for seeing her; and so beautiful she was that I think I 
can remember her face, though I have not the slightest recol- 
lection of Madame Genlis', who was much more an object of 
curiosity to me at that time. Pamela's history I heard at 
Christ Church; a clergyman, Jones by name, was the person 
who negotiated the business with her mother. The circum- 
stances were well remembered at that place. 

Lockhart struck out from that reviewal something of my 
own, and more of the extracts from Lord Edward's letters, which 
delighted me as much as they have done you, and he did not 
send me the concluding proofs, to which I meant to have added 
something. He added Lord Byron's sonnet, which is anything 
but graceful, and to which I should have objected on other 

Has the useful pamphlet of Gibbon Wakefield fallen in 
your way? Nothing could be better timed than its exposure of 
the character, and disposition, and strength of the populace. I 


have no doubt that what you have heard respecting the in- 
tended insurrection in other cities, as well as in Bristol, is true, 
and it is no new design. Some ten years since, at the time of 
Hunt's progresses and what is called the Manchester massacre, 
the news of an insurrection there was to have been the sequel for 
a similar rising at Carlisle, and in expectation of it crowds were 
waiting for the arrival of the mail. This I was informed of at 
the time ; and in this danger we shall always be till a radical 
reform be effected, and some order superinduced upon our most 
imperfect system of policy. The ministers themselves are 
heartily frightened. On the other hand, better men are re- 
covering their spirits, whether it be that things really are more 
hopeful, or that they have become accustomed to the prospect of 
unavoidable evils, which, as long as they are not immediate, we 
contrive generally to consider as being uncertain. Both causes 
probably exist ; but the letters which I receive are less gloomy 
than they were some little time ago. 

I dare say the business at Lyons was directed t>y some of 
Buonarroti's disciples. "We have just such a set of desperadoes 
at home, who cover themselves at present under the name of 
Owenites, but whose intentions are sufficiently disclosed in their 
journals. The St.-Simonites had their missionaries at Lyons, 
and they on such occasions are like the Quaker on board the 
merchant ship, who, expressing his horror at the intention 
which the master expressed of running down a small privateer, 
concluded his speech by saying : "If thou wilt do such a 
wicked thing, starboard a little" Just so would these men 
direct a mischief which they had not directly conspired to 
bring about. 

God bless you, dear friend. 





KESWICK, January 19th, 1832. 

Thank you for your inclosures, which arrived this morning. 
The Whigs would smile at the one and tremble at the other. 
Irreligion cannot go farther than most of that party (and this 
I say advisedly) would very willingly go with it, but they are 
desperately afraid of radicalism, and indeed, at this time, very 
much in such a predicament with it as the young man who 
raised the Devil by reading in Cornelius Agrippa's book. 

I do not know the book of Lord Clarendon concerning which 
you inquire, but there can be no difficulty in getting it from a 
London catalogue. Send to the library (if you have not read 
them) for D'Israeli's Commentaries on the Life and Reign of' 
Charles I. Rogers said of him to me " There's a man with only 
half an intellect who writes books that must live." The origin 
of the book nobody knows but myself. I knew that Dr. Words- 
worth, in consequence of his inquiries concerning the Icon 
Basilike, was collecting materials and preparing notes for an 
elaborate history of that reign; and knowing this, I invited some 
fit person (in the Quarterly Review) to undertake such a work, 
intending this as a call to him. D 'Israeli supposed himself to 
be the person intended; told me so, and went to work. He has 
in consequence brought out a very entertaining and very useful 
book, which will not stand in the way of another, but rather 
assist in preparing the way for it. 

Irving, beyond all doubt, is insane. Do you know that the 
St.-Simonists are sending a mission to England, and that the 
Minister of War in France has sent a circular to all the general 
officers directing them to warn the soldiers against listening to 
their doctrine, and requiring them to report such officers and 
men as may be made proselytes ? 

God bless you, dear friend. 





KESWICK, February 2lst, 1832. 

I am indeed sorry for the death of your Minikin, whose like 
I shall not look upon again, and whose loss to you is not to be 
replaced. Poor fellow, he would probably have lived longer if 
he had more work and scantier food, for too much prosperity 
agrees neither with man nor beast. 

Many pleasant hours have I passed in poor Dr. Bell's 
company ; it was delightful to see him in company with 
children, for then he gave himself up wholly to enjoyment : 
never man, I verily believe, loved children more thoroughly. 
But when he was alone, or could get any person alone with him 
from whom he had no reserves, then his discovery possessed him 
like an evil spirit. Two thoughts may be said to have devoured 
all others in his mind how to extend that system of instruction, 
and how to keep his own merits as the discoverer of it constantly 
before the public. He is now at rest from it. I did all that 
man could do to bring him into a healthier and happier state 
of mind as long as there was any hope of influencing him, 
and I believe that for many years there has been no person for 
whom he entertained a more sincere regard ; for he could not but 
approve of the advice which he never followed. 

The St.-Simonist missionaries in England have written to 
me, complaining that I have not done them justice, offering me 
their books for my further information, hoping I will visit them 
in London, and saying that if they come this way they will 
knock at my door. I have returned a courteous reply, letting 
them withal clearly understand that they would find in me a 
determined opponent if it were needful. But this it will not 
be, for they are not likely to make proselytes in England. I 
very much regret the loss of your friend M. de Custine's letter 
concerning them and their founder. 


Rejoice with me that I am far advanced in the last chapter 
of the War. Next week, if I continue well, will assuredly bring 
me to the end of it ; and then to other work. 

The bill will be compromised in the House of Lords. Short- 
sighted men think it better to pass it with certain alterations 
than expose the Constitution to that certain overthrow which the 
creation of a regiment of peers would produce. They are griev- 
ously mistaken. Violence of that kind, if it were committed 
(and it is by no means certain that ministers would dare commit 
it), would at least leave the old peerage without dishonour; but 
when they lose honour, and give up the ground of principle 
to take their stand upon the shifting sands of expediency, they 
deserve the fate which shall overtake them. For myself, I do 
the best I can while I see the worst, and I keep a good heart 
and am cheerful. 

G-od bless you, dear friend. 




KESWICK, March 19th, 1832. 

Your long silence made me apprehend that you were ill, and 
I should long ago have written had I not been urgently em- 
ployed upon the ever lengthening task of finishing the Peninsular 
. War. You will not wonder that it is not yet finished when you 
hear that it has overrun my estimate by a full hundred pages, 
which is to me, as far as profit is concerned, pure loss of time ; 
to the bookseller no gain ; but the book will be much the better 
for it, and therefore I grumble not, but work on in good humour 
with myself and my employment. Very near the end, however, 
it is ; in fact it only remains to relate the overthrow of the Con- 
stitution by Ferdinand, whom I have brought to Zaragosa on 
his way, and then to wind up. 


The seeds will grow anywhere ; there is not a hardier flower 
in this country ; it grows and flourishes close under our kitchen 
window, where the flagstones leave just room for it between 
themselves and the wall. So abundantly does it flower, and so 
easily spread itself, that you may soon stock Hampshire with 
yellow poppies. 

Charles Duveyrier, or rice (for I know not which), and 
Gustave d'Eichthal are the two Missionaires Saint- Simoniem en 
Angleterre, who addressed a joint epistle to me. They have 
since sent me a small parcel of pamphlets to my brother's house, 
but no letter accompanied it : my answer had, no doubt, damped 
any hopes they might have entertained of converting me. I 
have not had a minute yet to look into their pamphlets, but I 
see by the Times that there are schisms among them, and that 
one party declares against marriage and all family ties. 

You will see that I broke no rule in noticing Mrs. Bray's 
book, for there is no review of poetry. I have only told what 
surely is a touching story, and answered some of your objections 
to the encouragement of such persons.* You should be loath, 
you say, to have a servant so qualified ; perhaps so ; but, Caro- 
line, if you had hired one not knowing that she was so qualified, 
and had afterwards discovered her qualifications, how should you 
have felt then ? I will tell you : she would very soon have had 
a place in your esteem and in your affections ; without ceasing to 
be your servant, she would have become your friend. I should 
be right glad to have a man-servant in whom I could find such 
a companion as you would have found in her. Nothing, I 
believe, gives a foreigner a more unfavourable notion of the 
English character than the relation yi which servants stand to 
their employers so generally, and without any kindly feeling on 
either side. 

But when you ask what chance there js for Mary Colling 
making a happy marriage in her own station, then indeed I 
candidly reply, that in that station it is better for anyone (in 
our disordered society) to be content with "single blessedness," 

* i.e. as Mar}' Colling, the poetical servant of Mrs. Bray. 


and more especially for one of such quick and imaginative 
sensibilities as she evidently possesses ; for though she has no 
power of expressing them in the language of verse, it is very 
evident that she possesses [them] in a high, and perhaps a 
dangerous, degree. Perhaps her gentle blood shows itself in 
her, and perhaps it will keep her from any such marriage as you 
allude to. But the possihilily of another and worse danger has 
sometimes crossed my mind when speaking of her, lest some one 
with as much romance in his heart and head as there was in 
mine when I began life as a poet should fall in love with that 
sweet countenance of hers, and this should end in a marriage 
not so unfitting indeed as that of her mysterious grandmother, 
but likely to be quite as disastrous in the consequences. 

At present, however, no creature can be happier ; and her 
master is almost as happy -a strange, eccentric, thoroughly good 
man, who, when the publication was determined upon, took upon 
him the whole cost of it, so that she receives not the profits but 
the whole produce. The Duke of Bedford sent 10 for his 
copy. Mary is now collecting all the traditions of the neigh- 
bourhood for Mrs. Bray, whom I have set upon writing all 
about Tavistock. A very entertaining book she is likely to 
make of it, and a good deal of it is likely to be Mary's work. 

But I must break off, though I have much more to say. 

Dear friend, Grod bless you. 



BUCKLAND, April 12th, 1832. 

When next you write to me, dear friend, do tell me what 
you know of one of your frankers, Mr. Hyde Villiers. I know 
he is son of the great government defaulter, nephew to Lord 
Clarendon, sprung from a race of courtiers, and himself a 

R 2 


placeman ; but it is rather puzzling to find a person so qualified 
brought down among us (a perfect stranger) by a little knot of 
fierce radicals, who have set the place in a flame, to canvass at 
this time for votes against the next election after the passing of 
the Eeform Bill. I should have liked to hear his private and 
confidential account of the dinners with which he was treated 
by his reforming friends. His host, a half-pay captain, who 
turned patriot on losing all hopes of promotion in the army, 
from his mutinous conduct in India ; this worthy's brother, our 
spiritual pastor (Heaven help us), who broke open the church 
in the morning to set the bells ringing, in spite of the church- 
wardens ; two dissenting ministers, flaming orators ; an infidel 
tallow-chandler ; and a serious tailor, of which tailor more 
anon. But do tell me what you know of Mr. Hyde Villiers. 

Before this reaches you the fate of this country will be in 
some sort decided by the decision in the Lords on the second 
reading of the bill. It is an awful crisis, and so Lord Grey 
must feel it, and he must shrink from exercising the power of 
creating peers, committed to him by the infatuated king. But 
the race he runs is neck or nothing, and he cannot draw back if 
he would. The rupture with Lord Durham must plunge him 
deeper in perplexity ; and who is there to help us ? Only the 
All-powerful and Wise ; but in His hands is safety for those 
who trust. 

Now for the tailor. Tailor Dixon "hight" a long, lean, 
lank-limbed, lank-visaged, lank-haired anatomy, proprietor of a 
dissenting chapel, and preacher at the same (he whose name I 
made free with in a hoax on Mr. Levitt, of which I told you) , a 
conchologist, a mineralogist, a reformer, and a lecturer at a 
Mechanics' Institute, and altogether a wonder of knowledge ; 
but, as implied by his title, he condescends to make and mend 
male raiment, and waited on a friend of mine the other day in 
his professional capacity. My friend, a very delightful and 
well-informed Swiss lady, had to order some liveries for her 
men-servants. Tailor Dixon being deaf, she wrote her direc- 
tions with a pencil, and among other articles, specified in her 
odd English "one groom coat." The tailor shook his head, 


and smiled compassionately, accepted the order, but begged 
leave, before he put it in his pocket-book, to point out a gram- 
matical fault in the wording. "Madam!" quoth he, "you 
should have added an s to groom; the case is nominative." 
Talk of the march of intellect why, it goes full gallop. 

God bless you, dear friend. 



BUCKLAND, March 26th, 1832. 

I hope you have not seen the paragraph which heads my 
paper,* for I aspire at giving you the earliest notice of the 
honourable classification of " great men," in which you figure 
cheek by jowl with that congenial spirit, the Agitator ! I con- 
gratulate you. And in good earnest, I thank you, dear friend, 
for your kind remembrance of my request anent the yellow 
poppy seed. This will be precious seed, for the sake of the 
gatherers and of the sender, and very much prized also as a 
beautiful addition to my flower collection, if it will be but 
good-natured enough to grow and blow for me a doubtful 
case, I promise you, easy of culture as you think it, for I am 
told it is a capricious beauty ; will flourish (as you say) any- 
where when it sows itself, but oftenest baffles the hand of art. 
I have a sort of fellow-feeling with the creature, so perhaps it 
will oblige me. Mary Colling and I entirely sympathise in 
the feeling of companionship with flowers. I remember com- 
posing verses to mine when I stood between my father's knees, 
and he wrote for me. But you and I do not agree that ever I 

* Great men that were indifferent to music. Wyndham said that four 
of the greatest men he knew had no relish for music Edmund Burke, 
Charles Fox, Dr. Johnson, and Pitt. To these we may add Pope, and in 
our own time Southey and O'Connell." Town. 


should say so ! No ; we are not yet agreed on the subject of 
poetical maid-servants ; and, truth to say, it seems to me that 
in what you write to me (for I have not yet got sight of the 
Quarterly Review), you argue rather with the heart than the 
head and yet Jesuitically too, for you adduce as a main point 
one which, so far from controverting, I agree in with you, heart 
and soul the crying sin we are guilty of in converting servants 
from humhle friends into mercenary dependents the unavoid- 
able effect of our detestable, cold-hearted, un-Christian system. 
I am thankful to my half Norman blood and parentage for 
having kept me clear of that sin at least. The dear old nurse 
who died in my arms after sixty years' service in my family 
would have rated you in her broken English if you had ven- 
tured to doubt that her master's grand-daughter could be less 
than her child in duty and affection. 

You say, " that though I would not hire a poetical maid- 
servant, if I had hired one so qualified, and afterwards dis- 
covered her qualification, she would very soon have had a place 
in my esteem and affection." Secretly she might; but my 
endeavour would be, not to favour or distinguish her above her 
fellow-servants, unless she deserved it by more diligent perform- 
ance of the duties of her station ; other conduct on my part I 
should consider injudicious kindness to herself and injustice to 
others, and therefore, as I should certainly long to do just as 
Mrs. Bray has done, I would rather not have such a temptation 
thrown in my way as mistress of a family. It is scarcely in 
nature that other maid- servants should live in peace, and 
charity, and familiarity, with an equal so distinguished ; and the 
friends and patrons to be acquired in a higher class can never 
make amends for the loss of those in the same station and 
circumstances as ourselves. Even Mary Colling writes and 
speaks with the warmth of wounded feeling, and some bitten 
ness, of the envy and spite shown towards her. The time may 
come when she is no longer supported by the buoyant spirit of 
youth, and the generous sympathy of Mrs. Bray and her kind 
master, and those who now surround her with a sort of artificial 
atmosphere, and then, though she may not be in poverty, she 


will feel the want of human sympathy that want that withers 
life, and dries up the heart-springs, and makes the mind shrink 
inward, and prey upon itself. For you know you have very 
coolly sentenced the poor thing to "single blessedness"; and 
single she had better be truly to the end of her days, lonely, 
deserted, starving, anything rather than mated to a coarse- 
minded clodpole. That other danger you admit is one I should 
less apprehend in our anti-romantic days than the liability 
you cannot but be aware of that so engaging a creature, with 
so sweet a face, should become the victim of seduction. I 
should, in Mr. Bray's place, consider that I had taken upon 
myself a most serious responsibility an engagement to watch 
over the principles, as well as fortunes, of the being who, 
through my instrumentality, would be in a manner isolated in 
the midst of society. You will think all my reasoning very 
weak, very fallacious probably, evidencing a narrow mind and 
most erring judgment. May be so ; you may think what you 
will of the head (would you could mend it), provided you do not 
call me cold-hearted ; and something assures me that you will not 
do. If you did but know how, from the very day-spring of life, 
my mind and heart have been driven in upon themselves, by what 
miserable circumstances, you would wonder I had a generous 
or kindly feeling left. Thank Grod ! they did not perish under 
the ice, and I have a pleasure in feeling that, as I draw near 
the close of life, all the better feelings of my very early youth, 
and even childhood, are resuming more and more influence over 
me. This is surely right. If we bring into the world with us, 
as some have fancied, a lingering of heavenly light, it is no 
greater stretch of imagination to suppose that, as we approach 
the source, a few precursive rays may lighten the shadows of 
the dark valley. Dear friend, forgive my egotism. I meant to 
speak of Mary Colling only. 

Peace and health be with you. I can wish you no richer 
earthly blessing, and so God bless you. 


I long to hear you have wound up the War. Not one word 


of intelligence about the Colloquies have you vouchsafed me. 
Why, wait a little longer, and the book will be a voice of the 
past obsolete under a new era, political and social. And 
what think you of the Irving sect ? Half my family are bitten, 
seeing visions, having revelations, talking blasphemy ; in short, 
as mad as Sister Nativity.* 



Hyde Yilliers is a very intimate friend of Henry Taylor's, 
at whose lodgings I generally meet him, at breakfast, once 
during my visits to town. 

Through Henry Taylor it is that he is one of my frankers. 
I believe his opinions upon most subjects are as far wrong as they 
can be ; and the liking which he has both for my prose and 
verse is not connected with any sympathy in the more impor- 
tant points on which they touch. His manners are mild and 
courteous ; and if he had not some very good qualities, Henry 
Taylor (who found him in the Colonial Office) would not have 
become so much attached to him as he is. I look at him with some 
wonder as the descendant of Buckingham and Clarendon, and 
think more of his genealogy than he does himself. He takes 
pains to acquire knowledge upon political subjects, and has ac- 
quired some reputation accordingly by speaking in Parliament. 
His father was one of the Evangelicals (I met him once at Mr. 
Wilberforce's), and this perhaps may in part account for the 
son's aberration in a different direction. 

May 8th. I cannot tell how long it is since this answer to 
your inquiry was written. Time seems to pass with me like a 
spendthrift's fortune it goes as fast, and sometimes I am 
almost afraid to think that I could render as poor an account 
of it. 

* Elsewhere Miss Bowles compares Irving in appearance to Fuseli's 


My brother the Doctor, thank God, seems now to be re- 
covered, though the use of one ear is, I believe, entirely lost ; 
this however is a light misfortune. His death would have 
brought on me a world of cares ; and those from another quarter, 
which we now divide, would then have come wholly upon me 
with a weight which it would have been impossible for me to 
support. Dear friend, my pillow will never be without thorns, 
but I did not gather them for myself. Public events I cease to 
think of when the newspaper is laid down ; when the pen is out 
of my hand I go to my books ; I take exercise dutifully ; make 
the most of little pleasures ; find interest in little things if they 
interest others ; keep a quiet mind when external circumstances 
will let me, a patient one at all times ; and then plod on my 
pilgrimage with a firm step and cheerful countenance, though 
there is no station in the road at which I can ever hope, like 
Christian, to be relieved from the burthen on my back. 

"Write soon, for your letter makes me uneasy concerning 
you.* They who bear up with most fortitude in the midst of 
affliction suffer sometimes most in their health when it is over. 
Violent grief seems to spend itself in tears. I dare say your 
widowf who planted her husband's grave might have watered 
it with hers daily the first week. 

Grod bless you, dear Caroline. 



BFCKLAND, June 9th, 1832. 

I believe every Bowles has more or less of what the Scots 
call "a bee in the bonnet." I am sometimes sensible of the 

* A letter written after the death of a cousin, 
f See Chapters on Churchyards, chap. i. 


humming of mine, and I am sure our poor friend of Bremhill* 
is haunted by a very tormenting familiar. Have you seen his 
late publication, St. John at Patmos ? If you have, I am sure 
you have felt compassion for, rather than anger towards, him 
for the effusion of pique and disappointment directed towards 
yourself in the preface. You will not think me wanting in 
regard for you, or in a keen sense of feeling for all that con- 
cerns you, though I tell you I read that sentence with eyes 
filling with tears at thought of the bitterness of spirit the poor 
writer must have smarted under when he committed it to paper; 
and for you I am no way concerned, believing you would feel as 
I did. It is evident that he has from year to year cherished 
hopes of being noticed by your pen, a few words of commenda- 
tion from which would, I believe, have consoled him for the 
heartless neglect and cutting scorn of a world which cares less 
than nothing for one who has nearly outlived the generation as 
well as the age that hailed his youthful Muse with lavish favour. 
He sent me his poem ; I alluded to his preface, hoping however 
" it would be taken in good part." I tried to soothe him in my 
answer, and to persuade him of what I have heard from your- 
self that his poetry ranked high in your estimation (his early 
poetry was in my mind), and that I was sure it would pain you 
to suppose he felt himself slighted or neglected by you (did I 
take too much upon me in speaking so after my own heart ?) ; 
which brought me another letter from him by return of post, so 
characteristic of his infirmity of temper, and simplicity and real 
goodness of heart, that I must let you see it. His new poem 
is an epitome of his mental state, full of flashes of poetic 
beauty, holiness of heart, and profound feeling, but I think 
faulty in the choice of subject, desultory and confused in 
the arrangement, and wanting altogether what painters term 
" keeping," and " an eye to the picture." 

The first part is little other than a paraphase of the Apo- 
calypse. St. John in Patmos is of itself a fine and appropriate 
subject for the Muse of an old divine, but the mysterious Book 

* W. Lisle Bowles. 


is too awful to be woven into the work of an uninspired writer. 
I have been very tedious in this chapter about my sensitive 
namesake, but I really love and pity him, and respect him also 
as he deserves to be respected ; and if I had power given me but 
for half-an-hour over your head and heart and hand, I would 
cause you to indite some kind, soothing, commendatory, little 
sentence, such as you know very well how to slip into your 
Quarterly Review and other articles, which should fall like 
balm on the old man's head, and fill his eyes, I answer for it, 
with tears of gratitude. 

Farewell, dear friend, and God bless you. 



KESWICK, July 4th, 1832. 

You are perfectly right, dear Caroline, in supposing that I 
should feel anything rather than anger at poor Bowles's effusion 
of spleen. It is only from your letter that I have heard of it. 
I forgive him everything except his giving a proud and con- 
temptuous nickname to one whose family history and whose 
character ought to have touched him, whatever he might think 
of her rhymes. I am sure that if he ever sees her portrait he 
will be pitiably ashamed of this. 

He cannot suppose that I do not understand the difference 
between what is poetry and what is not as well as he does him- 
self, and he ought to have seen in my reviewal of Mrs. Bray's 
book,* that my object was to interest people with the story, and 
in fact to apologise for the verses, without letting ordinary 
readers perceive that I thought any apology necessary for 
them. But you would see this, and so would any judicious 

* The Poems of Mary Colling. 


The first time I ever saw Bowles was in 1802, and I took a 
dislike to him which did not wear off till I learnt from Sir 
George Beaumont what was his real character, many years 
afterwards; but the cause was just such an effusion of spleen 
against the Welsh bard Edward Williams, to whom he denied 
anything like genius because he wrote commonplace English 
verses, unmindful that the Welshman was writing in a foreign 

More than once I have taken an opportunity of compli-r 
menting him, as he well deserves, when he came in my way, 
though I believe Gifford sometimes intercepted such compli- 
ments. And now, for your sake, if he does not come in my 
way, I will, on the first occasion, go out of mine to bring him 
in neck and shoulders. 

I wished very much to have reviewed his Life of Bishop Ken, 
who was a kinsman of my mother's family. It is only the first 
volume that I have seen ; but that is so bad that I was really 
deterred from my wish by the certainty of mortifying him, even 
if I totally abstained from noticing any of the faults in it, and 
only arranged his materials as he ought to have arranged them, 
and thrown his rubbish overboard. But I love dearly what is- 
to be loved in his poetry, and you will believe me when I say 
that I shall have quite as much pleasure in taking the first 
opportunity of praising him as he can possibly have in being 

Summer is come in earnest, and with it a touch of my 
summer cold and the commencement of my summer inter- 
ruptions. Last week I was most delightfully surprised by the 
apparition of Landor from Italy, whom I had not seen since I 
was at Como in 1817. He remained two days here, and holds 
out a hope of coming again to England three years hence, 
which to him seems not so long a time to look forward to as it 
does to me, for he has had no home-proofs of the uncertainty of 
human life. 

Poor Sir Walter is in so pitiable and hopeless a state that 
his release is wished for by those who love him best. The 
attack had been preceded by great irritability, wholly the effect 


of disease, and by a failure of mental power. He wrote a great 
deal in Italy and sent it home for publication, but it was found 
to bear such marks of decay that this was impossible. It would 
have been a great shock to him had he known this. 

God bless you, dear friend. 



BUCKLAND, July 18th, 1832. 

Yes ; I was sure the poor poet of Bremhill's splenetic effusion 
could only affect you as it has done, with compassion for the 
infirmity of mind which can so pitiably pervert the feelings of 
a really kind, warm heart. A more cunning man would not 
have vented his spleen so palpably. I think I told you that 
I accompanied my cousin Greorge Bowles to Salisbury last 
summer, on purpose to gratify the musical canon and poet by 
being present at his Cathedral during the performance of some 
hymns, of which the music and words were composed by himself 
for the benefit of a school charity; and we heard him preach 
also, in the same strange, desultory style (with poetic bursts 
interspersed) which characterises his Life of Ken. I never saw a 
man so delighted and overpowered as he was at what he called 
my great kindness in coming ; the tears actually stood in his 
eyes when he thanked me, as if such trifling tokens even of 
regard and respect were rare to him now, who was once so used 
to them. After service he took possession of me, to show me, as 
he said, every nook and corner of his beloved Cathedral, the 
library, &c. ; to tell me the stories of those who slept beneath the 
most remarkable tombs, and well and enthusiastically he began 


the task he had undertaken ; but it so happened that as we 
were returning to the Cathedral, after taking some refreshment 
at his residence just opposite, we spied and heard two gentlemen 
calling for some person to liberate them from within the grated 
doors of the building, which they had been locked into by acci- 
dent when we came out. They seemed very impatient of con- 
finement, and I observed to my companion, who had stopt short 
to look down the avenue towards the prisoners, " I should be 
well content to be shut up for many hours in such a cage, 
and should have no objection to pass a moonlight night there 
quite alone." " Grod forbid, God forbid ! " he muttered to him- 
self in great agitation, dropping my arm ; and then turning and 
looking strangely in my face he added, with a fearful emphasis, 
" Do you know where I should be the next day if I was shut 
up alone in that place one hour? In Finche's mad-house." 
Then he caught up my arm and rather dragged than led me on. 
The gentlemen were liberated, and came out laughing as we 
entered, but Mr. Bowles shuddered as he passed them, and I 
am sure put great force upon himself, in consideration of his 
promise to me, in entering at all. He hurried me over the 
library, the rest of the party following ; then down to the body 
of the Cathedral, from tomb to tomb, from shrine to shrine, 
scarcely able to utter two connected sentences, and turning his 
head to look back towards the entrance every moment. At last 
he caught my hand, and whispered " Grood Grod ! if we should 
be shut in," and his distress was so painful to me that I feigned 
having seen enough. I drew him away, nothing loath, but too 
much agitated to be himself again while we stayed. After 
witnessing that scene, nothing he could say or do would affect 
me angrily. 

Poor human nature ! I suppose it is from sympathy that I 
feel so much for poor Bowles ; and how he would resent such 
sympathy ! 

The Life of Bishop Ken might as well be the life of the man 
in the moon ; but surely some of the irrelevant parts (how few 
are relevant) are beautiful in themselves as to poetic feeling ; 
one might make a pretty little book of such episodes. 


God bless you, dear friend. I was delighted to hear of the 
unexpected pleasure you had had in the visit of Mr. Landor, of 
whom I well remember you told me there was no person living 
you would go so far to see and converse with. 



KESWICK, July 3lst, 1832. 

Poor Bowles's poem came to me yesterday, with a note, two 
months old, from himself, saying that he was especially induced 
to send it because he had mentioned me in the preface, and 
professing all the personal good-will for which I always gave 
him credit. As you may suppose, I immediately read through 
the poem, and then wrote to thank him for it. I told him for 
what reasons I never reviewed the works of a living poet, and 
also for what reasons I had told Mary Colling's story in the 
Quarterly Review. It will not be my fault if the letter does not 
put him in good-humour both with himself and me. 

His preface has served as a text in Fraser's Magazine for a 
discourse in which the Quarterly Review is charged with patro- 
nising humble poets for the pleasure of patronage, and ab- 
staining from praising great ones for equally worthy motives. 
This introduces a criticism upon Mr. Pennie, the poet whom^. 
Bowles praises ; but in the specimens which are given I see 
much more effort than power, and much less feeling than 
either. The truth is, that genius is common enough (I had: 
almost said too common), but that nothing is so uncommon as 
the good sense which gives it its right direction. Fielding^ 
employed great part of his life in writing execrable comedies 
before he found where his talent lay ; and I believe something 
of the same kind occurred to a very inferior writer Mar- 


Do you ever see Fraser's Magazine ? It is just as disgusting- 
as the Monster's, and just as clever ; but it has the advantage 
of giving excellent portraits, with about the same inclination to 
caricature in them that a certain very dear friend of mine is 
conscious of in herself. In the reviewal of Mr. Pennie they^~ 
say, very truly, that the merit of my prose consists in no arti- 
fice of composition, but in letting the language suit itself to 
the subject, and rise and fall with it. 

And now, dear friend, farewell. 



BUCKLAKD, August 20A, 1632. 

Some days earlier you would have heard from me, dear 
friend, had not a long and severe attack of sickness still hung 
about me too oppressively to allow me to write with any degree 
of comfort. This is the first evening, almost the first hour, 
that I feel really revived, and able to breathe without pain. 
Only those who are familiar with sickness and suffering can 
appreciate the blessing of ease, mere bodily ease not the less 
delightful for being accompanied, as is the case with me at this 
moment, by a degree of languor which seems to calm and 
compose, but not depress, the mind. After the fever of mind 
and body which has lately worn me to a shadow, it would be 
luxury to me this evening merely to lie still and think ; but I 
am greedy of enjoyment after such long starvation ; I must, 
therefore, think on paper to you. 

Thank you for your letter of the 4th. "What you say of 
poor Lisle Bowles accounts to me for a report lately made to 
me by a friend, of his being in particular good spirits and good- 
humour, and talking of coming to see me. No doubt your 
kind note to him smoothed down all his bristles, and I should 


not wonder if he half repented of calling poor Mary Colling 
names. I hope if that interesting girl ever loses her kind 
master, he will either leave her sufficiently provided for, or that 
Mrs. Bray will take her into her family. It is not only pro- 
vision, but protection, that poor Mary will want, for she must 
be isolated among persons of her own class in life. Did it ever 
strike you that the Devonshire cast of countenance, especially 
of beauty, is very peculiar to that province? We have had 
several Devonshire girls in the service of different persons of 
my family two in our own house all good-looking, and one 
beautiful, and all (the last especially) so much like the picture 
of Mary Colling, that it might have answered for both the 
compressed lips and receding mouth, all marking provincial 
features, and a certain shrewdness, as well as sweetness of 

I am not sure that you will ever speak to me again when 
you know what atrocities (as you will call them) have been 
perpetrated, if not by my own hand, with my sanction after 
the fact. Whisper it not in the ears of Eumpelstilzchen, or 
the hearing of Pussy Bell, or in the groves of Cats' Eden, that 
within the short space of three weeks nine cats have been 
murdered on these premises by the hand of Dick, my servitor 
caught by the necks and tails in wires set for the purpose round 
my pigeon-house, which had been pillaged unmercifully for the 
last twelve months by those abominable vermin, who swarm in 
this garden from all parts of the neighbourhood. Woe to the 
great Eumpel himself if he were to set foot here. 

Spite of cats, however, a family of nightingales has been 
reared this summer, almost under my windows, by the parent 
birds, who took up their abode in the little front garden close 
to the house immediately on their arrival in April. The first 
notice I had of my welcome guests was the song of the male as 
he hovered in a seeming rapture over a rose-bush covered with 
early flowers close to the window the eastern fable illustrated 
to the life. The pair brought up four young ones, and trained 
them mostly, when they first left the nest, on a pink thorn 
under my bedroom window, where I was many a half-hour 



longer in dressing than usual, but not engrossed by my looking- 
glass ; and one morning when I came down to breakfast, one of 
the bold little creatures that had found its way into the house 
flew out over my shoulder, but nothing daunted, nor farther 
than to his family on the thorn close by. My pretty visitors 
are now of course departed, but I hope they will return next 
spring to the same quarters ; next spring ! well, if I am not 
here to welcome them, I shall be better off elsewhere, wherever 
that may be. 

I have never seen, I think, more than three or four numbers 
of Eraser's Magazine since its commencement, and the two last 
that fell in my way I thought dull and heavy proof of dul- 
ness in myself, I fear, since your opinion is so different but I 
saw no sketches of character such as you mention. " Hast thou 
found me, ! mine enemy ? " If I dare not disavow that 
besetting sin you hint at, be sure I do not love myself the better 
for it, and I should think it was the Evil One himself who put 
comical fancies into my head sometimes, if they were ever 
fashioned in malice, which I swear they are not, that I never 
could, would, or did caricature, with pen or pencil, man, woman, 
or child towards whom I was conscious of an unkind or angry 
thought, least of all, any who had ever injured or offended me. 
But I know there are laughing devils as well as others. 

Pray, tell me, did you give it under your hand and seal to 
Satan Montgomery, that you considerd one of his poems (I for- 
get which) equal in merit to Paradise Lost, and himself (said 
Satan) not second even to John Milton ? Satan averred to a 
relation of mine, that he had this opinion in good black and 
white characters of your writing ; but till I see them, no, till you 
certify the same to me, I must believe Satan lies no great 

God bless you and those you love, dear friend. 





KESWICK, August 26A, 1832. 

Bobert Montgomery (wicked Caroline to call him Satan), I 
will venture to say, never told so absurd a lie as your informant 
has put into his mouth. He is a fine young man, who has been 
wickedly puffed and wickedly abused, and who is in no little 
danger of being spoiled by forcing. In thanking him for his 
books when he sent them to me, I neither made a fool of myself 
nor of him by any preposterous praise. The course he has 
taken has been the best possible for immediate success (and this 
his poverty rendered needful), but in other respects he could not 
have taken a worse. He has rushed in where angels should 
fear to tread. He has attempted subjects which ought never"" 
to be attempted, and in which it is impossible not to fail ; yet 
these very subjects have obtained for him popularity, and the 
profit without which he could not have obtained the education 
of which he was worthy, as well as ambitious. When he 
lowers his flight, I wish he may not find that he has weakened 
his wings by straining them. 

You deserve to be haunted by the ghost of Merlin for those 
repeated acts of felicide which you seem to feel no remorse for. 
If I had committed one such act, I could never again look a cat 
in the face. No such deeds are committed in Cats' Eden. We 
have had a sad tragedy here, in the fate of two owls, both taken 
from one nest, both bought from some boys for the sake of 
emancipating them as soon as they should be able to provide 
for themselves; and just as that had been accomplished and each 
was living about the premises upon the wing and at large, both, 
one after the other, drowned in the same water-cask, and both 
now buried in the orchard. Each was named Solon ; and the 
death of the first, who was tame enough to answer from the 
trees to his name, and come at a call, vexed us all more than 
such things ought to disturb one. 

God bless you, dear friend. 


S 2 



KESWICK, September 17A, 1832. 

. I can but too well understand the situation of the young 
ladies concerning whom you speak. Every publisher is beset 
by persons seeking for this sort of employment, miserably as it 
is paid, and uncertain as it is. Few books are now translated, 
except such as from some immediate interest in the subject are 
sure of a present sale ; and then, lest another publisher should 
get the start, the poor translator is unmercifully hurried in 
his task. So little is to be done in this way at any time, that 
at this time I see no hope of doing anything. There are but 
two courses open to women thus unhappily circumstanced that 
of setting up a school, or of seeking a livelihood in the manner 
you mention. But both these require active friends, and such 
are rarely to be found. 

Ah, dear Caroline, this is a hard-hearted, I had almost said 
a merciless, society in which we are living. It seems as if no 
sympathy could be excited for any but great criminals. They 
who deserve most compassion meet with least ; and bounty 
seldom descends upon those on whom it would be best be- 

I never said anything like what you repeat about Robert 
Montgomery: when I have spoken of him to Sharon Turner 
(who must be the common friend alluded to), it has been to the 
same effect as I have expressed myself to you; encouraging 
him against his malevolent enemies, and giving him credit for 
good powers, which have been overtasked, and injudiciously 
both excited and extolled. Favourably no doubt I wrote, and 
kindly, but certainly neither flatteringly, nor falsely, nor like a 
fool. My sins of this kind never go beyond promising myself 
pleasure from the perusal of a book, when perhaps a glance 
may already have shown me that the way not to be disap- 
pointed in such a promise is to leave the unhappy book unread. 


Friend Amelia might class this with the sorrow which is ex- 
pressed in declining a disagreeable invitation, and sins of the 
same diminutiveness. But you know me well enough not to 
need any assurance that I flatter people in private as little as in 

There can be no truth in any reports about Sir "Walter's late 
papers. What he sent home from the Continent for publication 
was found by his friends wholly unfit for the press, so far had 
his faculties at that time failed him. I heard from Abbotsford 
on Sunday last ; mortification had then existed for eight days ; 
it was extending widely and deeply, and every night had been 
expected to be the last, yet still he lingered on. But this must 
soon close, and probably has closed ere this. It has been a 
pitiable case the mind going slowly to ruins first, and the 
strong body maintaining so long and slow a struggle after- 
wards. The cholera is a merciful dispensation when compared 
with this. Yet I can believe a state of mind very possible in 
which the more or less of affliction in this world would appear 
all but infinitely insignificant to the sufferers themselves. 
There are few who attain it ; and I wish I could feel that 
I were nearer to it for entirely believing it to be attainable. 

You would be greatly pleased with Lord Ashley's letters to 
me, were you to see them. They express a warmth of attach- 
ment which is very unusual to meet with from anyone, and 
especially from one in his rank of life. He has sent Cuthbert 
his own Greek Testament, and promised him (Grod willing) the 
best piece of preferment that may ever be at his disposal. You 
need not be told that this was wholly unsolicited ; even if I were 
in the habit of asking favours, or fishing for them, so remote a 
possibility would never have entered into my thoughts. But 
this will show you something of his character: my writings 
seem to have taken hold both of his heart and understanding. 
That they will bring forth good fruit in time I have never 

Lady Malet is here, and is making a portrait of me which 
goes much nearer to satisfy everybody than any former attempt. 
She has made a very good one of Edith, which is going to 


Copenhagen.* Do not forget yours when your hand is dis- 
posed to exercise its cunning. I am expecting a franker every 
minute, and if he comes in time shall tale him to Watenlath 
and Borrodale before dinner. 

Dear friend, Grod bless, and preserve you ! Night and 
morning when I pray for protection, you are always in my 




BFCKLAND, October 15th, 1832. 

Have I ever spoken to you of "Sir Edward Seward's 
Narrative," edited by Miss Porter ? Many persons persist in 
the belief that it is a true story. I cannot be so persuaded, but 
I do think the author, whoever he or she may be, deserves to 
rank with De Foe in the extraordinary art, evinced in this 
narrative, of giving the tone of verisimilitude to a story in all 
its details, and of individuality to the personages represented 
in it. I should imagine that the fiction is founded on some 
slender foundation of reality. Be it what it may, the book 
charmed me, and I devoured it with all the youthful appetite 
which gave such a relish to " Kobinson Crusoe " some five or 
six-and-thirty years ago. How pleasant it is when such a gush 
of youthful feeling breaks up the cold surface that crusts over 
one's heart in middle age ! But then the revulsion is too pain- 
ful, and one had better keep under the crust. Of course you 
think so, or you would not renounce poor Poetry as you do. I 
have a huge mind to write a letter to Murray too, and call you 
a " Renegade." Will you never, never, never refresh my heart 
and mind with verse of yours again? They say "the devil 

* To Mr. Warter. 


quotes Scripture for his purpose." I saw your " Holly Tree " 
the other day in Lord Brougham's Magazine. 

No increase of cholera at Southampton. None here, thank 
Grod, and may He be gracious to you. 



KESWICK, October 2lst, 1832. 

I have been writing upon the last French revolution, taking 
for my text a pamphlet of poor Prince Polignac's, sent me 
from Brussels by Sir Robert Adair. My reply, saying that I 
would take up the subject in the Quarterly Review, was sent by 
Adair to his poor friend in person, and this has brought me a 
long letter from Polignac himself, containing much interesting 
matter, and concluding with assurance "de haute considera- 
tion." I could not but smile through sadness at the phrase. 
The poor princess too sends me her most grateful thanks for so 
poor a service as that of simply speaking the honest truth in 
vindication of a most unfortunate, but upright, man. Under 
present circumstances, however, no service could afford them so 
much gratification. 

I have not made up my mind whether or not to bray 
Lord Nugent in a mortar. As regards myself, his letter is 
utterly unworthy of notice ; and if I answered it, it would be as 
the reviewer, not in my own name, passing over his personali- 
ties with stinging contempt. The question is, is it worth while 
to notice the falsehood of his defence, and repeat in the 
strongest terms the charges of dishonesty which were advanced 
as courteously as they could be, and far more so than they 
ought to have been, in the Quarterly Review? That I can do 
this triumphantly is a temptation for doing it ; whereas, on the 
other hand, I may be more profitably and pleasantly employed ; 


for to do it well I must make myself angry, and anger is not a 
wholesome feeling. If I see Wordsworth I may probably be 
guided by his opinion. In such matters I am easily per- 

Your clergyman's poems came yesterday, and I have read 
about half the volume. See the use of recommending such a 
book ! I copied your recommendation of it to Wynn, who was 
then in the Isle of Wight, and he bought the only remaining 
copy at Newport, and was as much pleased with them as you 
are. I admire them greatly, and will notice them when re- 
viewing " NefPs Life," a book written by Grilly (the Vaudois' 
friend). Neff was a Protestant clergyman in the French Alps, 
an imitation of Oberlin, without his amusing eccentricities, and 
in a more unfavourable situation, but an admirable man. 

Mr. Sewell's poems are not always sufficiently intelligible. 
The fault they have is common with Keble's. I wish they 
could write as lucidly as you; and still more that you, whose 
poems have all the charm of theirs, and always the grace which 
they frequently want, would write more, and more, and more. 
As for me, it is not that the spring of poetry in me is dry, or 
frozen, but that I want time for it. Letters from all sorts of 
people, and upon all sorts of subjects, make longer drafts upon 
my time than anyone would suppose. By the time Cuthbert's 
lessons are over, and I have read the newspaper (which must be 
read), and answered my letters, so much of the morning is 
gone, that no more remains than is required for my daily walk ; 
and I am glad to get that opportunity for miscellaneous 
reading. In the way of direct business, a little before break- 
fast, and the hours between tea and supper, are all that I can 
commonly make sure of. 

God bless you, dear friend. 




BUCKLAND, February 2nd, 1833. 

Dear friend, will you be at the trouble of looking over the 
accompanying verses? I have been reading accounts of the 
factory atrocities, and proofs of them in minutes of evidence 
taken before the House of Commons, that worked me up to a 
fever of indignation, which vented itself in verse the little 
poem I inclose, and another of about the same length, this 
being, I think, the best of the two. And I have a half-formed 
plan of publishing them, with some notes annexed from the 
minutes of evidence. But I should be glad of encouragement 
from you, if you can give it me, or thankful for discouragement 
if my attempt deserves no better. I fancied if published soon 
the trifle might be successful. This will reach you, I hope, 
before you may be writing to me, for I should be sorry to draw 
twice upon your time, occupied as it now is. 

Grod bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, February 6th, 1833. 

Your poem, dear friend, reached me this morning, and I 
would have written to you by this day's post if there had not at 
the same time arrived another letter upon the same subject, which 
required an immediate reply, because it consulted me upon the 
steps to be taken in Parliament against this most hellish of all 
slaveries. Print your poems by all means. This is a most 


painful and most true one, and cannot but be felt at this time, 
when it is of the greatest importance that the nation should be 
made to feel. You have written like yourself. I could not 
find any words that would express higher praise. 

No task was ever taken up in Parliament under a deeper 
sense of duty than this will be. The delegates from the manu- 
facturing districts have requested one, whose name I must not 
mention, but whom you will be at no loss to know, to take 
Sadler's position and urge on his Bill. He says to me, " I 
shrink from the task in perfect dismay, but still I think that 
you would advise me to undertake it. I have implored them 
to try others ; they have done so ; some fear, some refuse, some 
are unable by their position as members of manufacturing 
districts ; yet it is a duty towards God and man." He refers 
to my Essays, which have taken deep hold on his mind, and he 
concludes with " God help me." How you would love him if 
you saw his letters to me ! 

I have read of the Slave Trade and of the Inquisition, but 
nothing ever thrilled my heart like the Evidences which you 
have been reading. It disturbed my sleep, and I laid the book 

aside in horror. 

It is by this system that the s have obtained their 

enormous wealth and purchased the estates here as an 

appanage for the second son, that John who is to second the 

address, who in Leeds was returned instead of Sadler, and who, 
when I advised him to plant alders about the marshy borders 
of the lake, replied that " alders were worth only fourpence a 
foot." I wish you could have seen Bertha's countenance when 
he made that reply. 

After such an experience I wonder (as far as I can wonder at 
anything in these times) that none of those cotton and worsted 
and flax kings have yet hanged themselves ; that none of them 
have been pulled to pieces; that none of their factories have 
been destroyed ; that the very pavement of the streets has not 
risen and stoned them. 

I am glad to see that Sir H. Neale's treatment is stated in the 
John Bull. There is no baseness of which the present Ministers 


are not capable, and they have just such a king to deal with as 
they could desire, who thinks himself completely discharged of 
all moral responsibility, and is verily persuaded that while he 
does what his Ministers bid him, and they do what the mob bid 
them, the king can do no wrong ! 

No possible change can be foreseen that would deliver us 
from these profligate men. They have brought the country to 
such a state that no other party could carry on the government 
for a week ; they themselves can only carry it on during the 
pleasure of the political unions, unless it be by the support of 
those whom they hate, and who most righteously execrate them. 
The Conservatives mean, I know (at least the better part), to 
stand by them mercifully against the Radicals, but to avoid all 
coalition with or approximation towards them as they would 
plague or infamy. This is my feeling. 

Grod bless you. 



BTJCKLAND, February 21st, 1833. 

Two long letters I have cost you lately, dear friend ! They 
have not been wasted on me, but I would fain have spared you 
the second. But I become more and more cowardly, and could 
not resolve to print my little stories without some encouragement 
from you ; that received, I set to work briskly, added a third to 
the two I had ready, picked and stole certain notes from your 
Essays and Colloquies, added some of the minutes of Evidence 
which had so disturbed and excited me, and sent off my MS. 
last week, as Blackwood wrote to say he should be very glad 
to have it and print it immediately. He requested also to be 


allowed to publish the tales in his Magazine separately a plan 
I do not much like, neither do I care greatly about it, so I did 
not forbid him, and he will do as he pleases. 

I hope I have not done an absurd or over-bold thing in 
inscribing this little pamphlet, trifling as it is, to Mr. Sadler. 
He was the champion who first stood forward in behalf of those 
poor children ; and all those who execrate that horrid system he 
has nobly dared to expose, and strives to put an end to, must love 
and respect him for his humanity and courage ; for it is no small 
proof of moral courage in him, connected as I believe he is with 
the manufacturing interests, to stand forward as he has done. 
" God help " Lord Ashley, I say with all my heart, in his own 
words. I had seen a newspaper announcement that he was to 
bring forward Sadler's Bill, on the 5th of March it was said. 
How eagerly I shall look for his speech, and how my heart 
will go with him ! 

I am tired to death of scribbling Lords and Ladies, such as 
Lord Nugent, Lord Mulgrave, Lady Emmeline Stuart Wortley, 
and Lady C. Burney; and I suppose Blackwood will set me 
down for a Eepublican, for I told him I was sick of his Helicon 
bag of fashion, and did not care to keep such company. Those 
people have no feeling for truth and nature how should they 
in their artificial atmosphere? And yet they pretend to 
" babble about green fields ! " It makes me mad to hear them, 
as was Hotspur with him of the pouncet-box. I like lords and 
ladies in drawing-rooms very much, in their own element ; but 
let them keep to it, and not prate about what they cannot 
comprehend poor souls. Their attempts at rural simplicity 
always remind me of the young Cockney lady who, being for 
the first time in a country farm-yard, asked what those crea- 
tures were meaning the cocks and hens; and on being told 
they were fowls, exclaimed : " La ! where are their livers and 
gizzards ?" Your Lord Ashley seems made of better stuff, how- 
ever. Some plants, bury them how you will in rubbish and 
darkness, will force their way into light and life. 

I feel no good- will to those who have set you such a task 
as you have undertaken for next summer The Life of Dr. 


Bell. You will never satisfy the worthy Davies* that seems 

Have I ever told you that since my irreparable loss of those 
kind friends I have made a very agreeable, intimate acquaint- 
ance, who, as far as tastes go, suits me entirely ? further, I 
have not quite read her yet a widow lady, about fifty, having 
lost her only son, and living much such a life as I do, among 
books, and flowers, and recollections. She is by birth half 
Swiss, half Dutch (a good compound), married at sixteen to an 
Englishman, having lived in half the courts of Germany, but 
retaining all her Swiss mountain tastes in their first freshness. 
I know you would like her hugely, and be amused at her 
originality and broken English Madame Dayrolles by name, 
a person of good fortune, and doing much good with it, never 
visiting any more than myself, and living within ten minutes' 
walk from this house. This is a valuable acquisition to me is 
it not? 

I have a large glass of sweet violets at this moment be- 
fore me, perfuming the room. There is no checking the 
thoughts that dim my eyes as I look at them. Are they the 
last I shall pick from my own garden ? f Dear friend, if I go 
hence, as I believe I shall, my sorrow will be all of the heart. 
As for privations, I never think of them as regards myself. 
But spirits inhabit here with me, who will not accompany me 

It is strange that one should be no less attached to place by 
the past sorrows we have suffered in it nay, more than by 
the remembrance of happy and prosperous days. But Gtad is 
everywhere, and where He is we must be well. May He be 
about your path, and about your bed, and keep you in all your 

And so farewell, dear friend. 


* Dr. Bell's secretary. 

f In consequence of the apprehended loss of her annuity from Mr. 
Bruce, and the departure from her house which such loss would entail. 



KESWICK, March llth, 1833. 

Murray's sin is great enough, God knows, in publishing 
those books of Lord Byron's, which very many persons would 
have been ashamed to have seen in their possession, before they 
appeared in this edition. As to what regards myself, he is al- 
together blameless. I dare say he would have destroyed that 
dedication if he could ; but Byron took care that nothing of 
this kind should be lost, and his friends have been equally 
careful. You see it was not possible to keep the libel upon 
Rogers secret, though it shows the writer to have been the 
most treacherous of mankind. The very persons who cry out 
against Lady Blessington for bringing this to light are most 
likely the same who had the dedication of Don Juan printed 
upon a broadside, for popular sale in the streets. If Murray 
had omitted it in this edition, when some of the journals called 
for its insertion, he would have exposed himself to attacks that 
would have annoyed him ; and he knew very well that the 
publication could neither annoy nor injure me. 

I have not yet seen how my first volume looks when put 
together ; it may perhaps be here on Thursday next, for I am 
patient enough to let it travel by wagon. My greatest 
pleasure in a book of my own is in cutting open the leaves 
as soon as it comes. 

You ought not to have felt any misgivings about your Tales of 
the Factories. The question cui bono is very easily answered there. 
It is doing great good to impress, as you will do, upon all those 
into whose hands your verses will come, a deep sense of their 
abominable inhumanity the great national sin for it is such, 
more truly a national sin than ever the Slave Trade has been. 
Lord Ashley's Bill came to me by the morning's post. No doubt 
it is exactly what Sadler would have brought in, for Sadler 


is in town to advise him; and though it asks for too littl* 
far, far too little this has been a matter of prudence. 

March 18. Yesterday brought us what is one of the rarest 
of rare animals in this place at this season, and what, though 
common enough in Keswick during the laking months, is even 
then a rarity within these doors a franker, to wit. A warm 
contest is going on for West Cumberland, and this has brought 
down the existing Member to support and propose one of the 
candidates. The said franker is a new Member and " full of 
Parliament," as poor Green the Ambleside artist tells us, he 
was "of dinner" one day when he began to ascend a mountain. 
Green, however, would be the better for his dinner, though a 
mountain climb was not likely to assist his stomach in digesting 
it. But to be full of Parliament is not much better than to be 
full of flatulence. He told me more than I had before learned 
of the blackguard insolence which the mob-members seek every 
opportunity of displaying, and which is likely to have some 
good effect, by disgusting those who have any sense of good 
manners, and any respect for the old decencies and civilities of 
society. Our trust at this time must be wholly in Providence 
there are now no secondary helps to look to. The Conservatives 
are without a leader, and not likely to find one. Peel wants 
confidence in the strength which he really possesses, and in that 
of his cause ; he wants warmth and heart also ; it seems as if he 
did not feel what he believes : and that his principles, having 
their root in his understanding, had struck no deeper. The 
Ministers trust to this party for support against the Destruc- 
tives, and to the Destructives for support against them. The 
measures with regard to the English Church are concerted with 
such secrecy that the bishops know nothing about them. Lock- 
hart writes me that we are on the eve of some collision with the 
House of Lords : " the Lords," he says, " may not die in the 
right ditch, but die they must." I think another collision is 
nearer, and one that with God's help may save us. O'Connell 
will go all lengths in Ireland. When he heard the substance 
of Lord Grey's speech, which was reported to him in one of the 
passages between the Houses of Lords and Commons, he took 


off his hat (a new one), put it on the ground and stamped the 
crown of it out, saying there was another crown which he should 
dispose of in the same way. Mr. Stanley tells me there were 
many witnesses of this. So soon as he gives the word for open 
rebellion in Ireland, his allies here, the Political Unions, will 
show themselves in support of the Murder Unions. We may 
look for insurrection ; and they will be put down ; and such a 
turn will then take place in public opinion, that we shall then 
effect the now necessary Reform in Parliament. "With this 
Parliament, or such a Parliament as this, no government can 
be carried on. "We must have a Reform which will exclude the 
blackguards; and luckily there are gentlemen enough in the 
House at present to outnumber them. 

I am looking daily and wishfully for your little book. 

God bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, April Uth, 1833. 

Many years it cannot be, in the course of nature, before we 
shall meet in a better world, even were we both to live out the 
full term of ordinary life. You have seen Quarles' Hiero- 
glyphics of the life of man a candle graduated from the age 
of ten, by tens, to four-score. Mine has just burnt down to 
three-score, and if I live till the 12th of August next I shall 
enter upon my sixtieth year. Sixteen years we have known 
each other, and nothing can be more unlikely than that our 
earthly intercourse should be prolonged to as many years more. 
"Whichever goes first will be spared a poignant feeling here, 
and have the joy of bidding the other welcome to our new 
country. Meanwhile, every day brings us nearer to it, and 


whatever we do to render ourselves useful here by our writings 
will be rendering ourselves fitter for the change. 

Your picture will be prized as a treasure, and you may be 
assured that it shall have a place of honour. A treasure it will 
be now, and a great one hereafter, to those who can attach no 
such feeling to it as I shall do. 

As for my letter,* the whole business about it has been 
managed and mismanaged between Murray and Lockhart, 
without any communication to me : they agreed to put it in the 
Review without my having dreamt of such a destination for it : 
of course I was very much pleased with the arrangement ; and 
then they determined with just as little ceremony to leave it 
out, and with this of course I am not pleased. But the first 
thing I did, upon hearing it was to appear as a pamphlet after 
all, was to desire that Henry Taylor would obtain an official 
frank for conveying one to you. I have not taken any notice 
of the matter yet, either to Lockhart or Murray. You know it 
is my way to take all things easily that can be taken so ; and by 
the time I may find it necessary to write, my displeasure will 
have passed away. It takes a great deal to make me angry, 
yet you will see by the epistle that upon a proper occasion I 
can show a proper resentment of ill usage. 

The Naval History occupies my evenings, and I must go 
over to Lowther on account of it as soon as the clergyman there 
(an old acquaintance) can receive me, which he will be glad to 
do. The family are not at the Castle, so that I cannot take up 
my quarters there, as I otherwise should. My motive for going 
is that there is a set of Kymer's Fcedera there. The republica- 
tion of that work by the Eecord Commission carried me 
through my first volume, but there it ended ; and I expect to 
find much matter which has escaped my predecessors, from the 
reign of Richard II. to that of Henry VIII. Two or three 
mornings doggedly devoted to this in the library will probably 

Adam Clarke's Life is lying for me in London. I passed 

* To Lord Nugent. 


an evening in his company as far back as the year 1800, and 
have had three or four letters from him in later years. He 
was the most learned man the Methodists have ever had among 
them. I wish the book had reached me, for I expect to find 
in it much that is interesting. Another of my Methodist ac- 
quaintances (for you know I have acquaintances of all sorts) 
has spoilt what, if he had given in the genuine book, would 
have been one of the greatest curiosities in literature "The 
Village Blacksmith, or the Life of Samuel Hick." I intend to 
review it when I can ; but in this way it is not likely that I can 
do much this year, as the only time which can be given to it 
must be in the morning, between the hours of eleven and two, 
after Cuthbert's lessons are done, and before I take my daily 
walk ; and in those hours it is that I must write my letters also, 
which, as you may suppose, very often occupy them entirely. 

The Factory Bill will be carried in spite of the Commission. 
This is one of the occasions on which the Conservatives as a 
party have manifested an equal want of sense and principle. 
If they had not been both headless and heartless, they would 
have eagerly occupied a popular ground, which was open for 
them here. 

Dear Caroline, Grod bless you. 




KESWICK, July 1st, 1833. 

We had a most remarkable preacher from Ireland here 
Archdeacon Trench, brother to the Archbishop of Tuam. His 
sermon was extempore and evangelical, but good of its kind, and 
as methodical as if it had been composed and written. Never 
did I see so much gesticulation in the pulpit; never, indeed, 
more upon the stage. If his head had not been well hung, off it 


must have come. This, however, was not mere acting, for in 
conversation his head and features are in the same earnest 
exercise, and his arms in as much motion as he can safely 
indulge in. On the whole, a very remarkable person, and never 
to be forgotten by those who have heard and seen him. 

Mrs. Austin has sent me her Characteristics of Goethe. I 
had seen her as a child, and though she is connected with 
everything that is Liberal and Radical, some of that circle have 
a degree of tolerance towards me, of which this presentation is 
an instance. The book was brought here by Henry Eobinson, 
a great friend of Wordsworth's, and something more than an 
acquaintance of mine. If you read the book you will see some 
communication in it from him, signed "H. C. B.," for he has 
been much in Germany. 

There is perhaps no other writer with whom I find myself so 
often both in sympathy and in dyspathy as with Goethe. Our 
understandings often come to the same result, our feelings often 
coincide, our fancies sometimes meet ; and yet the antipathies are 
not less frequent, and are, on the whole, the stronger. I can like 
persons who are very different from myself in all things ; but it 
seems to me that, though Goethe was very far from an un- 
amiable man, I never could have liked him, and that no 
intellectual sympathy could ever have overcome this dislike. 
His political opinions and feelings were as conservative as 
mine; but his infidelity has given a pernicious tendency to 
many of his writings, and made him thus a promoter of that 
revolutionary spirit which was what he most detested. 

His notions of immortality were almost as wild as poor 
Mr. Hope's, and not a whit more consolatory, or good for any- 

You will read the book, and will be offended with many 
ugly Germanisms in the language, or rather, words taken from 
the German. But there is much that will interest you. It is a 
fact which ought to be brought out in the strongest light, that 
a petty German sovereign, whose dominions do not exceed 
equal the estates of some of our great nobles, and whose 
revenues fall very far short of many a merchant's and manu- 

T 2 


facturer's income, has done more for the literature of his 
country (that is for Germany) than any king or emperor ever 
did for the literature of any country, or any age. 

Did I tell you that Eumpelstilzchen died in peace about six 
weeks ago, and was deposited in the orchard, where some cat- 
mint will be planted, to mark the spot and gratify his ghost, if 
it should walk? Poor Rumpel, for two or three months he 
showed such marks of decay that we wished for his decease, 
and yet it saddened us all when it took place, and we heard 
that he had been lying dead under a hedge in the adjoining 
field. Cats' Eden is in possession of his posterity, and happy 
man would be my dole if I could make others as happy as my 
family of cats are made. They have everything that a cat's 
heart can desire. I am to them what the Duke of Saxe- 
Weimar was to Goethe and the other men of letters ; and they 
seem to know and acknowledge. Knurry has a kitten just 
coming to perfection ; its name is 


and its title 

The Wae-wei. 

(rod bless you, dear friend. 



BUCKLAND, July 19th, 1833. 

I shall get Mrs. Austin's book certainly. I can perfectly 
comprehend your sentiments in regard to Goethe. It is your 
heart and your nobler nature and nobler aspirations which revolt 
against the earthly and sensual character of his. Goethe may 
have been an inspired writer, but his inspiration was not from 
above; and who has ever risen the purer, the better, or the 


happier from the purest and best of his writings? Admira- 
tion, disappointment, and disgust has been, I think, the 
sequence of feeling with which I have read them. 

Do you not think Schiller, as a tragic writer, far superior to 
Goethe, and Korner in some of his lyrical pieces ? Pray tell me 
if your Dutch friend Bilderdijk still lives. 

I was not a little amused in reading Goethe's memoirs, when 
they came out some years ago, to find almost a facsimile of one 
of the freaks of my solitary childhood among the reminiscences 
of his. Do you remember where he describes his fanciful conse- 
cration of a sort of altar (I forget where) on which he was for 
some time in the habit of offering daily oblations of fruit and 
flowers? When I was about seven or eight years old, I built up 
a little altar of turf in the most private nook of our garden, and 
every morning for, I believe, a whole summer brought to it an 
offering of flowers, placing them on the green mound with 
feelings of reverential awe. That I well remember, and also my 
confused sense of something wrong in the act, which made me 
keep it a profound secret from my father and mother, and in 
the end troubled my mind so much that I demolished and des- 
troyed all traces of my dear little altar, though with many tears 
and remorseful hesitation. But my offering was made to the 
one true God, in the fervour of a heart and mind full of the poetic 
beauty of Eve's morning sacrifices described in The Death of 
Abel; Goethe's were to the heathen deities.* 

Surely you will immortalize Eumpel in immortal verse. I 
must go to Pekin to learn to pronounce his descendant's name, 
which will effectually prevent the possibility of its being 
pitched into rhyme. I like his title extremely. 

I have had to undergo a real, sharp heart-twinge this week, 
in pronouncing sentence on my dear old pony, my faithful 
servant, and no small favourite of fifteen years' standing. I 
had been offered a run for life for him by two kind friends here 
and at Lyndhurst, but the poor old animal being diseased as well 
as old, I thought it would be no mercy to him to close with the 

* This was not so ; see Dichtung und Wahrheit, B. I. 


proposal. I have not often felt a more painful contraction of 
the heart than when I patted his sleek coat for the last time, 
and he looked round at me with " eyes of human meaning. " 
"Women are not often so situated as to be compelled to pro- 
nounce words so painful. It is no enviable privilege of indepen- 
dence, and unhappily I do not find I become "used to it," as 
the eels do to skinning. 

God bless you, dear friend. 


Your friend Satan Montgomery has not improved upon 
his former publications in that he has just given to the 
world. Kind as his intentions towards us are, I must say I 
never read a more dull and heavy poem, one more ill-arranged 
and devoid of interest than " Woman the Angel of Life." I 
owe him a grudge for tacking that syllable " Mont " on to his 
real patronymic " Gomery," and so cheating people " who 
swear by a name" into the belief that he is the Montgomery. 
I do beg and entreat you will undertake the task of making 
mince-meat (such as you can make) of my very dear friend and 
admirer, Simon Pure, viz., William Howitt. He has shown 
the cloven foot with a vengeance, and horns and tail beside. 


KESWICK, August 4*A, 1833. 

Next week, if I live so long, I enter upon my sixtieth year. 
Sixteen have elapsed since we became known to each other. 
Before another such term has run out, we may meet in eternity; 
in the ordinary course of nature my departure is not likely to be 
deferred so long. It is but a little way to look on; and I look 
to it as I used to do in my youth to the end of a long day's walk 
not with the feeling of one who is weary of his labours, but 


with a willingness to be at rest; and the satisfaction of knowing 
assuredly that there will be that rest for me. Certainly if I 
had been an old Roman I should not have waited for the slow 
process of nature, but would have quitted my tenement before 
it fell to ruins. 

The portrait has not yet arrived. From a fortnight to three 
weeks is the usual time upon the road; so it may be looked for 
every carrier's day till it arrives, and we have four in the week. 
I am looking by the same channel for a parcel of catalogue- 
books, among which is the old French romance of Astrea whichr 
I have wished for years to possess. Nearly thirty years ago I 
read it in the very vilest of all vile translations, but the original 
has such a charm of natural style that Fontaine made it his- 
study. You may marvel, perhaps, that I, who take so little 
delight in modern romances that I scarcely cut their leaves when 
they are sent me, should continue to peruse old ones whenever 
they come in my way with as much delight as I did forty years 
ago. But so it is, and it would not be difficult to explain why 
it is so, and why it ought to be so. 

I hope the Monster has sent you Captain Hamilton's Men and 
Manners in America. The author has sent it me. He lives at 
E-ydal, and is in appearance what Don Quixote would have been if 
his countenance had not been rueful. The book will amuse you, 
but it will leave a very painful feeling concerning the Ameri- 
cans. The other day we had a New Englander here, from whom 
I gathered that what may be called the gentry in America live 
in the fear of the multitude ; that they dread the progress of 
democracy, yet are afraid to utter a thought in opposition to it ; 
and that no man, however rich, dares maintain an establish- 
ment the cost of which would exceed 2000 a year. The best 
private library in the United States is said to be that of Professor 
Ticknor, a correspondent of mine, and a very interesting per- 
son ; it is not so large a library as my own ! 

He tells me that, in proportion to the population, madness 
is more frequent in America than in England, and that the 
most frequent cause is political excitement ambition among 
a people where every man thinks every office to be within his 


reach, and where some kind of election is always going on. 
This is a sad picture ; yet, in America, the better minds look 
with alarm upon the course which we are taking in England. 
Ticknor in his last letter hints at the possibility that the 
changes and chances of this world may bring me and mine to 
Boston. I think this country, whatever be the evils that await 
it, has less to go through than the United States. "We shall 
save more from the wreck than they can hope during many 
generations to build up. 

Monday, 5th. The portrait has just arrived safely. It is a 
delightful picture as well as a very good likeness. Thank you, 
dear Caroline, thank you, thank you ! The place for which I in- 
tended it will prove, I fear, too high for my sight, which has so 
far decayed that objects at a distance are indistinct, though for 
reading and writing it serves as well as ever. I fear another 
situation must be looked for. I meant it to have crowned one 
of the bookcases, as Kirke White does. 

God bless you, dear friend. Let me hear of you, not that I 
may think the less, but the less anxiously. 




KESWICK, August 2Qth, 1833. 

You may suppose how earnestly I have been engaged, and 
how unmercifully interrupted, to have let your last letter remain 
till now unanswered, when I would fain have replied to it 
instantly. Take the history of Saturday last as a sample. Mr. 
Phillips, a Melksham clothier and his wife, introduced by my 
aunt Hill's relations, the Awdrys, breakfasted here ; good- 
natured, pleasant, sensible people, though the husband is a little 
be-whigged. When they were gone I sat down to make up my 
despatches with some proof-sheets for the post. Before this could 


be completed I was called down to Mr. J. Thornton (Reginald 
Heber's fellow-traveller), his son and two of his daughters. He 
opened upon me such a torrent of words that in the course of at 
least an hour and half's visit, during which it ceased only for 
half-minutes, I wished myself repeatedly in the bed of Lodore 
or under Scale Force for comparative repose. Toward the end of 
this awful visitation in came our curate, Mr. Whiteside, just 
returned from Ireland with his brother-in-law, full of remem- 
brances and messages to me, none of which he could deliver 
while the Thornton cataract was in force. Of course he out- 
stayed this dreadful linguist, that he might say his say, which I 
was willing enough to hear, though more willing at last to get 
up to my unfinished packet. Well, I had got to the inclosure 
when the bell rang again, and I am introduced to Mr. and Mrs. 
Mocatta by a note from Henry Coleridge ; he, the son of a rich 
English Jew, but himself withheld from becoming openly a 
member of the Church of England by due respect to the in- 
vincible feelings of an aged father ; she, the daughter of 
English parents but born at Santa Cruz. Caraccas is their 
home, and they have both travelled much in North America. 
As they were to depart the next morning, we had them that 
evening to tea. A very agreeable evening it was ; but except 
in making up my covers for the proof-sheets, and writing a 
note with them to Dr. Lardner, not a line could I write that 
day, and the last callers deprived me of my usual walk. 
You told me truly when you said that Adam Clarke's 
would delight me. It reached me last week, and very long it is 
since I have read so delightful a book. Charles Fox who is 
spoken of there is the person mentioned in Espriella, who when 
his house was on fire, and it was evident that nothing could be 
saved, retired to a convenient distance, and made a drawing of 
the scene. I knew him well, and met Adam Clarke at his house. 
I have profiles of him, his wife, and the parrot which used to 
take its place upon the tea board, make free with the sugar, and 
call him father. I mentioned this in a letter to good old Adam, 
and his son lately applied to me for copies of the profiles, which 
of course I had great pleasure in sending him. 


Could anything be so brutal as that poor man's treatment at 
Kingswood school? The Simpson, husband to the she-devil 
who pickled poor Adam, I remember well, having heard him 
preach in my early boyhood. There is a portrait of Adam 
Clarke in one of the early volumes of the " Arminian Maga- 
zine," looking very much as he must have looked when he was 
in pickle, and with some such words as " A Babe of Grace " 
underwit. Some thirty years later another portrait appeared in 
the " Methodist Magazine " (which is a continuation of the 
Arminian under a more profitable title), and there he looks 
like a respectable, and even dignified clergyman and scholar. 
I should like to get both these to insert in his Life. 

Your picture could not be placed where I had intended ; the 
position was too high. I have hoisted an oil portrait of myself 
there, and placed you in the vacancy thus made, which is in the 
parlour opposite my place at tea, and in the precious hour after 
supper when I have always one of my great old books, for a 
composing draught. Mufti's languish is most excellent. I 
would send my best compliments and respects to him, if he 
could understand the message. 

Dear friend, Grod bless you. 



BUCKLAKD, September ISth, 1833. 

Dear friend, I possess so scanty a stock of that commodity in 
which you abound patience, that it fretted me to read the history 
of your day as an epitome of what you are subjected to during the 
touring season. If time so precious were but spent on people 
who could appreciate the sacrifice and him who makes it, it would 
be something; but to think that half your gazers at least are 
animal machines on whom a donkey stuffed into the lion's skin 


would at any time pass for the lion himself that makes me 
savage, and your patience provokes me into more spitefulness. 
What a dragon I should prove if I had to guard the entrance 
of your den ! I have the reputation of being rather dangerous 
if disturbed in my own, by people who neither care for me, nor 
I for them. 

I have had little time for reading of late, and have read 
little. The Characteristics of Goethe I have, however, looked 
over rather than read, with more interest than I should other- 
wise have felt, from what you had written me concerning the 
book. It is a strangely put together work : mal comu the French 
would call it ; some portions very interesting, and those relating 
to the Grand Duke and Duchess eminently so. My Swiss friend, 
Mrs. Dayrolles, has lived much at Weimar in the familiar society 
of that admirable woman the Grand Duchess Luise. She speaks 
of her with enthusiasm. 

I knew you must delight in Adam Clarke. Poor dear 
Adam ! his patience in pickle can only be equalled by yours 
with the tourists. 

Grod's blessing be with you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, October 12th, 1833. 

I have seldom sate down to write to you with more satisfac- 
tion than at this time, having, after working at it most doggedly 
for the last nine days, sent off the conclusion of my second 
volume to Dionysius the cabinet-maker this morning.* When I 
tell you that for the last three days I have not written less than 

* The second volume of the Naval History; Dionysius, i.e., Dionysius 
Lardner, Editor of the Cabinet Cyclopedia. 


nine of the printed pages per day, you will perceive that I must 
have been at it tooth and nail. The truth is that, owing to 
interruptions in the last three months which you can very well 
understand, and to the sinful propensity for " doing something 
else" (which you can also comprehend) in the three preceding 
ones, I was run hard, even to the very last day. My brother 
<jame here on Sunday the 29th, and remained till the Thursday 
following ; of course my mornings were given to him, and most 
of my evenings also ; but since his departure I laid aside letter- 
writing (except for one morning which letters of business de- 
manded) and everything else, and stuck to this : though I did 
not omit my daily walk, nor give up my after-dinner sleep. 
Both these I deemed neceseary. Dr. Bell's two hours were 
borrowed for the occasion. When the concluding sentence had 
been written this morning I danced about the room for joy ; 
and you have here the first offering of my leisure. The volume 
itself you will receive from the Longmans as soon as it is pub- 

Last week I ascended Scawfell with my brother. Eight- 
and-twenty years ago we put off the ascent till a more con- 
venient season, and we agreed now that it was not prudent to 
postpone it farther. So we went on wheels the nine miles to 
Seathwaite and were afterwards seven hours in going up and 
down. Cuthbert, Warter, and Errol Hill were of the party. 

To-day brought me a letter from, apparently, a young 
American, who, because the Colloquies have won his heart, 
inclosed me an autograph letter of Washington's. Just as 
this American feels towards me, I always feel towards those 
of other ages by whose works or whose lives I have been inte- 
rested ; and often think what a pleasure it will be to see them 
face to face in another world, and claim acquaintance with them 
upon that score. Think of paying my dutiful respects to Laud 
and Cranmer, shaking hands with Spenser, and getting Sir 
Philip Sidney to present me to Queen Elizabeth ! Think of 
seeing Wesley again, actually conversing with Sir Thomas 
More, and claiming connexion with Izaak Walton as a kins- 
man of Kenna his wife ! There is an article in the Creed 


that warrants these expectations ; and what a poor thing were 
life if it did not give us these inheritances from the past 
and this reversion for the future ! 

You will not be sorry to hear that I am treating with 
Moxon concerning a series of " Lives of the English Divines,"^ 
to accompany a series of selections from their works, under some 
such title as '^Christian Philosophy ; exemplified in,"&c. My plan 
is not to insert whole sermons, but their pithiest parts, which 
many will read when thus presented to them, and which will 
induce some to drink their fill at the original sources. The 
Lives should be upon the scale of Johnson's " Lives of the 
Poets," and form a constituent and essential part of our literary^ 
history, and there should be an introduction containing a review 
of that part of theological literature relating to religious instruc- 
tion, down to the time of Elizabeth, when the lives and selec- 
tions would begin. If we come to an agreement (which is 
likely), this is a task upon which I shall enter with great good 

Have you read Zophiel? probably not; or you would have-" 
mentioned it. It is not always perspicuous ; though I do not 
know any poet whose diction is naturally so good as Mrs. 
Brooks's naturally, I say, because it is not in her the effect of 
study, and of art. I have never seen a more passionate work, 
rarely one so imaginative and original. There is a song* in the 
last canto which in its kind is as good as Sappho's famous ode 
has been thought to be. You would like the poem better if you 
had seen the authoress ; how gentle and how feminine she is, how 
sensible of any little kindness, and how full of feeling. I had no 
wish to see her, and was almost as much vexed as surprised when 
she let me know that she was in Keswick. I went to call upon 
her unwillingly ; but my visit was an hour long, and during the 
few weeks that she continued here she won the liking of all this 
household in a very great degree. 

And now, dear friend, Grod bless you. If you can tell me that 
you are at ease in body and in mind, it will be the best tidings 

* " Day in melting purple dying," &c. 


that I can hope to hear. As for public affairs, one revolutionary 
symptom follows another, and, looking to human causes, the 
only consolatory consideration is that as everything is likely to 
be overthrown without a struggle, so there is a possibility that 
when the mischief is done and the necessity of repairing all that 
can be repaired is felt, there may be as little resistance made to 
the work of restoration. Sunday 13th. 

Once more Grod bless you. 



BTJCKLAND, October 21st, 1833. 

Dear friend, if anything could have made me dance for joy 
it would have been the sight of your handwriting-, for I had 
been sorely troubled by your long silence, though always en- 
deavouring to reason myself into a belief of the true cause. 
But you know it is said of women that we reason more with 
our hearts than our heads, and the former organ is a bad casu- 
ist, and I (at my best of times not among the wisest of women) 
have of late years fallen into the bad and sinful habit of ex- 
pecting evil. It was not my early nature to do so, but painful 
experience has engrafted it on natural weakness. This I must 
add, however, with vehement sincerity, that I would rather en- 
dure a week's anxiety than rob you of an hour's, nay half an 
hour's exercise ; I do not say of five minutes ; time enough par 
parenthese to say " I am well," and fold up the missive. Will 
you behave better for the future ? I mean to yourself and Pro- 
vidence, which has so far, thank Grod for it, kept you in health 
and safety, spite of your own endeavours to bring on some hor- 
rid seizure, or organic disease of the head (as poor Sir Walter 
did) by over- writing, over-tension of those precious faculties so 
dependent in this our imperfect state on the organs of sense. 


But I am wasting my excellent logic all this while, and I sup- 
pose you do not pay more attention to Dr. Southey's arguments 
on the subject for he must use such than to mine. When I 
read of your "nine printed pages a-day " I shuddered ; but here 
I hold your written resolution of reform, and moderation, and so 
on for the time to come. Keep it better than the Whigs have 
done their pledges or I will call you a Whig, and if that does 
not touch you to the quick, nothing will. 

How am I to get Zophiel? I have not seen it anywhere ad- 
vertised, and it is probably published in America. But I shall 
try to get it. You spoke to me, I think when you were here, 
of this same Mrs. Brooks, and you have since named her in 
your letters. It will be a treat to see something really "imagi- 
native and original and passionate," without being absurd or 
affected, blasphemous or disgusting. I begin to detest Annuals 
as well as albums. Such a flood of very pretty poetry have 
they let in upon us. Seldom do I now venture upon a page 
wherein I see the lines arranged in the suspicious form of metre. 
I am sick to death of the sweet Swans my sisters (all save one 
or two), and think to myself "I would rather be a kitten, and 
cry mew than one of those same ballad metre-mongers"; and 
yet moi aussi,fai vdcu en Arcadie ! Think of my Monster very 
seriously requesting he might be permitted to affix my name at 
full length to whatever I sent him in future because the Hon. 
Mrs. N. and Lady E. S. W., &c., &c., put theirs ! Whereupon 
I made answer that if ever I saw my poor innocent name gibbet- 
ted in his Helicon bag of fashion, it would be the last auto- 
graph of mine found its way to Princes Street. 

Yes, dear friend, but for memory and hope this would be a 
poor life truly. If you please, you shall introduce me to Sir 
Philip Sidney and his sister, "Pembroke's mother": as for 
Queen Elizabeth, to confess the truth, I should be as little am- 
bitious of her acquaintance and patronage in another world 
(where the climate of her court may be too warm for comfort), 
as I should have been of a place in her household here. I would 
rather request of old Ascham to present me to his sweet, serious 
pupil Jane Gray. 


The 23rd of this month will complete the year long before 
the close of which I thought to be an exile from this my home. 
Here, by God's blessing, I am still, and grateful, very grateful, 
for the temporary reprieve ; but I cannot but consider the far 
more serious cause of anxiety* which has since been awarded me, 
as in some sort a punishment, and a just one, for the unwilling- 
ness with which I resigned myself to the sacrifice then required 
of me. Therefore, I do my best to be more cheerful now as 
well as equally submissive. 

God bless you, dear friend. 


I was greatly concerned at reading in yesterday's paper that 
Mr. Wordsworth's sight is considered in danger. Tell me, if 
possible, the report is an exaggerated one. 



KESWICK, November 3rd, 1833. 

I was fearful that the account of your amendment came in 
too remote and roundabout a way, willing as I was, and am, to 
believe what I hope. But I cannot bear to hear you accuse 
yourself of impatience you of all persons whom I have ever 
known are least to be accused on that score. The feelings to 
which you allude can no more be imputed as a sin, than the 
sense of bodily suffering can be, because they belong essentially 
to our nature. Our Saviour himself prayed that the cup might 
pass away, and that prayer itself may have been partly intended 
for our consolation ; may have been designed to convince us 
that what we call repining (repining such as yours!) that a 
natural, but subdued, weakness, that a resignation which though 
reluctant is resignation still, will not be deemed sinful. We 
never think so unworthily of our heavenly Father as when we 
limit His mercy or doubt of his indulgence. 

* Anxiety caused by ill health. 


Do not be apprehensive that I shall ever over-task myself. 
It was but for three or four days that I sate so closely at my 
work, and even on those days I never omitted my daily exer- 
cise ; nor should I have been run so hard had it not been for 
some previous idleness, most part of which was employed in 
walking ; and had not the publication been periodical, and so 
fixed to a day. I am in no danger of being over-wrought, 
though it is very likely that in a frame so highly sensitive as I 
know mine to be, the seat of sensation is the part which is 
most liable to give way. My occupations are too various for 
them ever to be injurious. The injury is where one subject 
takes possession either of head or heart: in the first case it 
strains and injures the faculties, in the latter it eats up the 
affections. Poor Scott employed himself always in one strain 
of invention, and that of a nature to excite him. But I have 
no doubt his embarrassments affected him much more than all 
his literary exertions. 

I have agreed with Moxon, and in the way that you think 
best. Nothing will be published till I am ready to bring out 
the Lives each in its place ; and the Introduction (which will 
cost most pains) first. The publication, therefore, cannot begin 
till this time twelvemonths at the soonest ; probably not till the 
January after. Meantime, he will get forward with the por- 
traits and vignette views of churches and parsonages ; and by 
that time I shall be ready with the Introduction, and five or six 
lives. I begin immediately to look over my old stores, and 
select from them such notes as may be brought into use for this 
service; they are neither few in number nor unimportant in 
substance, and you may suppose what a satisfaction it is when 
materials patiently collected from time to time through a long 
course of years are turned to good account at last. 

The account of Wordsworth's eyes was true ; they have been 
saved for the present. But for many years he has been subject 
to frequent and severe inflammation of the lids, and when this 
extends to the eye the sight is seriously endangered ; and there 
is always danger of new attacks, where an inflammatory habit 
has once been formed. Any emotion immediately affects the 



diseased part ; the excitement of conversation is sufficient for 
the evil : and by composing two sonnets during the last attack 
he had nearly brought on a relapse. This I hear from Hamil- 
ton (the author of "Men and Manners"), who breakfasted with 
me this morning (Monday). 

Zophiel is printed in London, and you have only to write for 
it as you do for other books. You have received, I trust, ere this 
my second volume, of which the main merit is that I have done 
in it what nobody before ever thought worth doing brought 
together the whole of our early naval history, and taken in no 
more of other transactions than were necessary for forming a 
connected and readable narrative. The time might have been 
better employed ; and yet it was not a wearisome task. 

Grod bless you, dear friend. I shall look anxiously to hear 
from you. 




KESWICK, November 23rd, 1833. 

At present I am very busy in reviewing. The Corn Law 
Rhymes supply the text, and a very good one it is for reading 
my old correspondent Ebenezer Elliott a wholesome lecture upon 
the ferocious radicalism to which he has given vent. This I 
shall do in a way which he will not expect, and which very 
possibly may have some effect upon him. I shall also, if possible, 
get a life of Samuel Hick the Methodist blacksmith ready for 
the same number. It must go hereafter with my lives of 
Oberlin and Neff, neither as comparison or contrast exactly, but 
as relating to the same subject. The said Sammy, whom his 
biographer has canonized as far as his power and authority 
extend, was born without the sense of shame ; certainly the 
most impudent man one has ever heard of, who was not at the 


same time a thorough rogue or thorough villain. Sammy, in 
spite of his impudence, was a worthy man at heart, and in spite 
of his ignorance and his fanaticism was, I dare say, very useful 
in his sphere. The book would amuse you and provoke you at 
the same time. If you are disposed to send for it upon this 
character, its title is The Village Blacksmith; or. Memoir of 8. 
Hick, by James Everett. 

Henry Taylor arrived yesterday. The first thing which 
struck him was your picture, in which he remarked a likeness 
to me in the forehead and eyes, such as might have been re- 
marked had we been brother and sister. He very much ad- 
mired the picture, and I assure you Mufti's languishing look 
was not lost upon him. 

I knew you would like my project with Moxon, and have 
good hope that if I live to execute it, and you to see the execu- 
tion, you will be pleased with it. The Introduction will cost 
me much time in research, and I shall want more books for it 
than I know where to find or to look for ; but by good fortune 
there are some in my possession which it would not be easy to 
meet with elsewhere, and which will supply me with much 
curious matter. I have received one dissuasive letter, founded 
upon a doubt whether I am sufficiently versed in theology or have 
read enough in this line to undertake such a task, and also upon 
a fear that I may draw upon myself acrimonious censure if I 
should be found wanting in these points. But if the old friend* 
who writes thus had seen what my reading has been and con- 
tinually is, or had he indeed called to mind the indication which 
some of my writings bear of it, he would not have entertained 
any such apprehensions. The more I contemplate the under- 
taking the better I like it, and feel more and more hopeful that 
in pursuing it I may be doing good both to myself and others. 

God bless you, dear friend, and restore and support you. 
Bless you I know He will. 


* This was Charles Wynn he mentioned the subject to me. (Note by 

TJ 2 



BUCKLAND, December, 1833. 

Your letters, dear friend, do me more good than all my 
physicians, my other physicians, prescribe for me ; they talk of 
hope, but your letters breathe hope, hope and encouragement 
even as to the things of this world, so connected with higher 
hopes and more blessed assurances, that while the effect of 
such mental communion with you lasts I am almost all I 
ought to be not cast down by temporal suffering, and rest- 
ing in perfect peace on the promises that cannot fail. But 
the bow-string will flag, as you well can understand, though 
the bow is not broken. Nothing seems to diminish my strength 
as to the power of walking, &c. This stubborn little frame 
of mine takes a great deal of pulling to pieces after all, 
like some scrubby skeleton of a tree or crazy old cottage that 
weathers out many a blast when one would think the first would 
lay it low. Perhaps we shall publish our book some day what 
do you say to that ? if I outlive all your task- work. Never, 
never one line of verse from you now ; I am obliged to go back 
perpetually to the sixteen volumes you have given me, to keep 
alive the assurance that you are a Poet. 

I am charmed with Mr. Taylor's favourable opinion of my 
picture, because I now feel better satisfied than I did, that the 
indifferent drawing is not a disfiguring blot on your walls. I 
should like to believe there was the same likeness between the 
original and yourself that has struck him in the picture, and it 
is singular enough that two persons, John Kingston and (I 
think) Lady Malet made a similar observation to me once re- 
specting the upper part of our two faces. 

All the Whigs of my acquaintance and half the Tories 
high in praise of Bulwer's late publication, England and the 
English. He is shrewd and clever, and speaks civilly of you, 
and writes some truths biting ones ; but for all that I should 
call his book a flashy, trashy work, full of fallacies, and on the 
whole insidious and mischievous. 


We are approaching a new year, dear friend. May it bring 
with it blessings to you and yours blessings in God's own way, 
of His good choosing ! Neither you nor I, were the choice left 
to us, would dare make it for ourselves. Farewell for this 
year. It will be three years this Christmas since we last saw 
each other face to face, but I take delight in the assurance that 
our friendship is not of that nature which depends on, or even 
needs, the refreshing of personal intercourse ; the enjoyment of 
it, however, would be such happiness that, to say the truth, I 
am most resigned to the deprivation when not permitting my- 
self to dwell upon it. 

Once more farewell, dear friend, and Grod bless you. 



BUCKLAND, February Uth, 1834. 

Have I then really and truly a fair hope of seeing you here 
again, and before this year hastens to a close ? For a long 
season all anticipation of earthly events has been to me so 
joyless, to say the least, that a gleam of sunshine dazzles me, 
and I cannot look steadily forward ; but it shines through the 
closed lids ; and I am glad," though I dare not be sanguine, for 
alas ! it is now possible I might have to say " Do not come." 
I should do so for your sake, if I was suffering so much as I 
have suffered, for you read my silence right. I should have 
been eager to tell you I was better, and I can now gratefully 
say that I am so. 

At last I obtained Zophiel. Do you ask me how I like it ? 
I will tell you how I read it. The box of books was dropped 
by the evening coach, just as I was seating myself to write 
letters of some consequence; but I looked over the books, 
caught up 2tQphiel, and opened the volume just to glance over 


it, or at it rather, before I began my letter. Neither letter, nor 
business, nor time, nor any sublunary thing did I think of 
again that evening, till startled by the cramp from the uneasy 
posture in which I had begun reading, and puzzled by the half- 
darkness in which I was left by the red globular flame of the 
unsnuffed candles ; and no letters were written that evening. 
Is not that evidence of the strongest of what ? of my liking 
the poem ? No ; but of the extraordinary powers evinced in it, 
of its originality, of its exuberant fancy, its richness of diction, 
unperspicuous as it is. What a sensation such a poem as this 
would have made some twenty years ago, and now nobody has 
heard of it ; no notice is taken of it. And this surprises me 
even in this cold, calculating age; because, though poetry no-- 
longer touches hearts, passion excites the organs that are called 
hearts by courtesy, and Byron and Moore have their full share 
of worshippers, neither of whom, I should say, have written 
anything so impassioned as Zophiel, or, I could almost add, 
more licentious. My dear friend, you told me of the lady when 
you were last here, and wrote of her and her poems from Kes- 
wick afterwards, and you then said it was to be left in your 
hands for publication, and you might be placed in a situation 
of " delicate embarrassment," by having to hint to the authoress 
the necessity of " cooling it in some parts." Now, if you have 
effected this refrigerating process, for Heaven's sake at what 
degree of temperature did it stand previously ? How could a 
woman, and such a one as you describe, select such a subject 
(for her work is a paraphrase of the Book of Tobit), and how 
could she treat it as she has done with such unwomanly license ? 
You say I should like the poem her poem the better if I had 
seen her. If I knew and loved her I should be grieved she had 
written it, splendid as it is. You do not think me prudish I 
am sure ; but what woman, pure-minded as woman should 
could read that poem aloud with an unembarrassed voice ? 
And can it become a woman to write anything that may not be 
brought fearlessly to this test ? 

(rod bless you, dear friend. 





Your opinion of Zophiel is what I expected, and it accords 
altogether with my own. But the licentiousness is in the sub- * 
ject, and is, as it were, so rarefied and sublimed (not to say spiri- 
tualised) by the imaginative manner in which the whole story 
is treated, that it is quite harmless. I have seen as little of ^ 
Don Juan as you have done. Byron and Moore and such men 
address themselves directly to the vicious part of human nature. 
This is never done in Zophiel. 

Yet I dare say the poem had its origin in the circumstances 
of the authoress's life. So much was she possessed with this 
poem while composing it, that she is as well persuaded of the 
truth of the machinery as a Roman Catholic is when he intro- 
duces saints and devils into an epic poem. 

March 9th. I have been too closely employed to go on with 
this since the day that your letter, to which it replies, arrived. 
Meantime I have been round the world with Sir Francis Drake, 
and have put the last hand on the proofs to a wofully long and 
laborious paper upon the Corn Laws. It has cost me more 
time than I like to bestow upon such subjects, but not more 
than it will have been worth, if, as Lockhart expects, it should 
produce some effect. As for the Admirals, I am so much out of 
my element at sea, that I should wish them at the bottom of it, 
if I were not better paid for attending upon them than for any- 
thing else. 

You may imagine how I shall miss Cuthbert. The course 
of life, indeed, is tending to make me more wholly intent upon 
my own pursuits than in any former part of my life. I shall 
have no companion in my walks when he is gone, and this will 
be a great loss, as it will withhold me from extending them to 
any distance such as ten or twelve miles. But you must know 
that our establishment (if you have not already been informed 
of so great an event) has been increased by a present from 


Sir Thomas Ackland of an Exmoor pony, Pixey by name. 
The said Pixey has hitherto been intended only for riding, and 
has accordingly been provided with two saddles, male and 
female, and last summer Cuthbert was in his glory, when thus 
mounted, on a pony which he could look upon as his own. 
Next week Pixey is to come home, having been turned out all 
the winter ; he is then to be tried in harness, and if we can get 
him to draw (which, as he is quite young, there seems no cause 
to doubt), then a little open carriage is to be procured, and 
Bertha undertakes to drive it. In this way I hope to get the 
girls, and sometimes their mother, out for a morning's length, 
and to accompany them as an old squire, on foot, condescending 
sometimes to take a seat. 

A bookseller's parcel is on the way to me, containing naval 
stores. But it contains also a packet of letters from Mr. New- 
ton, Cowper's friend, to Mr. Thornton, of which you shall hear 
more when I have seen their contents. Henry Taylor has pro- 
cured them for me, through Stephen (Wilberforce's nephew), 
one of the best men living, in the best sense of the words. 
Through that same channel I have been made acquainted with 
something regarding Cowper much more remarkable than any- 
thing that is publicly known concerning him, or indeed than 
could possibly be imagined. One reason why I can only raise 
your curiosity without putting you at once in possession of the 
truth is, that I know not yet whether it can be told. All I can 
say is, that it renders him far more an object of extraordinary 
compassion than he already appears to be. 

I shall begin upon his life as soon as the third volume of 
the Admirals is off my hands, which I trust it will be in the 
course of five weeks. 

God bless you, dear friend. It is time for my walk, and I 
shall be disappointed if my parcel does not arrive before my 






BFCKLAND, March 21th, 1834. 

From the 27th of January to the 16th of March and not a 
word from Keswick ! and my mind full of uneasy conjectures, 
and still I held back the hand which was every morning 
stretched out (when the post brought no letter) to invade your 
peace. But for that noble exercise of patience and self-restraint 
you are no ways indebted to me, dear friend, but to one far my 
superior in sense and patience, though my junior by many 
years my good and dear cousin Laura Burrard, who, with her 
equally dear sister Frances, has been staying some weeks with 
me. " No letter again ! I will write to-day," said I many a 
morning of disappointed expectation ; " I am sure something is 
the matter." " No, no," would Laura reply, answering my 
self-addressed determination, " No, no ! wait till to-morrow ; 
think how much Mr. Southey has to do and you will regret 
having written, if you find his silence was occasioned by press 
of business." So I was tractable at least, and waited, and found, 
as I had often done before, that my gentle Laura's judgment 
was better than that of her old cousin. This evil habit of im- 
patience has come upon me of late years; in some sort it is 
perhaps more deserving of compassion than reproof, for bitter 
experience of the insecurity of all earthly good has impressed 
me with a perpetual dread of impending evil ; a most pitiable 
infirmity, too surely proving the "little faith" which cannot cast 
out fear. 

I have been both pleased and pained lately at receiving a 
book and a letter from a person whom I believed to have dropt 
(and judiciously) all epistolary communications with me Mary 
Howitt, the only one of all the literary persons of that class 
who have honoured me with their notice, to whom I ever 
replied willingly, with a feeling of frank kindliness and confi- 
dence. There was a simplicity and kindness in her style that 


thawed all the ice of my ungraciousness in a moment, and I 
really "took to her," as we say in Hampshire, and in a less 
degree to him also, for he too was my correspondent, and felt I 
should be glad to become personally acquainted with them. 
You gave the first shock to my confidence in the man by re- 
lating to me his insulting speech to Miss Wordsworth about 
clergymen, and when I read in some periodical extracts from his 
atrocious book, The History of Priestcraft, I shrank with horror 
at the thought of being the correspondent of the writer or his 
wife. That was, however, a first impulse and an unjust feeling ; she 
was not in fairness to be considered responsible for her husband's 
violence, however she might partake of his opinions. But, all 
things considered, I thought and wished that she might not 
write to me again, and though I often thought of her, and re- 
gretted the loss of her correspondence, I was content that it 
should be so, and the more so when I saw her book announced, 
" The Seven Temptations of Man," and read a severe censure 
of the poem and its principles. But one day arrived the very 
book, with a letter from the authoress : such a charming, gentle, 
almost deprecating letter, giving me fully to understand that 
she was aware of what my sentiments towards her husband 
must be towards them both perhaps ; for which reason she had 
long forborne writing. She spoke of expecting the Wordsworths 
to stay with them on their way to London, and expressed her 
hope and belief that I as well as the Wordsworths might still 
meet her and her husband on that neutral ground free only to 
subjects unconnected with politics and party spirit. I could not 
turn coldly from advances made in so kind a spirit, but I re- 
plied in a manner that will not please him I suspect, for I should 
have accounted it heresy not to avow the horror I had conceived 
of his principles, religious and political. He threatened me with 
a visit too this year; the more reason why I should let him 
know my whole mind. But as for her book, it has been cruelly, 
unjustly censured. I do not like the plan ; I do not like the 
style of writing (for a woman) requisite to illustrate it, nor do 
I approve of inserting in a work of this nature verses verbatim 
from the New Testament; but with these exceptions I do 


delight in great part of the poem or poems. I am curious to 
know what you think of it. The first, " The Poor Scholar," is 
charming, though many will call it an imitation of Goethe. 

You have set my curiosity all on tenter-hooks about Cowper, 
but it is a painful curiosity. I cannot bear to think of him 
otherwise than as an object of respect and love joined to the 
tenderest pity. You never told me you were about to write 
his life, the very work I should have wished to be undertaken 
by you. 

I too have had a pony sent me, by Mr. Levett, but the kind 
giver was deceived in him. I hope Pixie is more tractable 
than Oberon, my coal-black steed, who, for mischief, is a very 
fiend of a fay. The Levetts will be at Worthing this sum- 
mer, and then I hope to become acquainted with Mr. and 
Mrs. Warter. 

God bless you, dear friend. 




[KESWICK, April, 1834.] 

Your good cousins were very kind in accounting for my sin 
of omission, for none but they who are in the house with me, 
and see how every hour brings its business with it, and how 
many a one its interruption also, can tell how little time 
remains "at my own free and willing disposal. Often, very 
often, am I doing what poor Elmsley used to call "something 
else," something which is not exactly the thing on which I 
ought just then to be employed, but for which, for some reason 
or other, I am better inclined ; but from six in the morning till 
eleven at night there is no interval of disoccupation, except it be 
when I am walking, or enjoying that sleep after dinner which 
is the soundest and most refreshing of my slumbers. 


I thought I had told you of Baldwin and Cradock's proposal 
that I should edit a complete edition of Cowper in monthly 
volumes, and write his Life ; and that I had consented for the 
love of Cowper. Some of Mr. Newton's correspondence with 
Mr. Thornton is in my hands at present, and I am to have the 
rest. In these letters the mystery is revealed, and my mind is 
made up, after consulting with Wordsworth, that if it ever be 
made public, it shall not be by me. It had better be discovered 
hereafter by some hunter after extraordinary facts, than em- 
bodied in the Life of so truly amiable and interesting a poet; for" 
if it were there it would mingle distressingly with all one's 
thoughts and feelings concerning him. Moreover, positive as 
the testimony is, there is against it so strong an improbability, 
that I know not which is the weightier. At this moment, while 
writing thus mysteriously, it occurs to me that the most pro- 
bable solution is to suppose it a mere conception of madness, 
not the real and primary cause of his insanity, but a hypo- 
chondriacal and imaginary effect of it. 

Mary Howitt sent me her Temptations through Dora "Words- 
worth, with a message requesting me to divest myself of all pre- 
judices, religious or political, in reading the book, and to give 
it a good word if I could ; evidently implying a wish that I 
would review it. I cannot review it, and have not found time 
as yet to read it; inclination, in truth, having been wanting 
when I had so little time for reading books which are to instruct 
me. She complains to Dora of having lost one friend in con- 
sequence of political feelings. It will be long indeed before the 
animosities which have now been so fiercely rekindled will subside. 
I am glad that she has written to you. As for her husband, he 
is in the very gall of bitterness, and the savour will abide upon 
him as long as he lives. 

All that I wrote upon Ebenezer Elliott, as an introduction 
to the Corn Law paper, has been cut off for the sake of short- 
ening it. Whether it will be printed as a separate paper I know 
not ; if it be, I must put a conclusion to it after extending it 
some little. 

April 8th. Yesterday being a beautiful day, I went up 


Cawsey Pike, being my first mountain walk this year. Davies 
went with me and heartily enjoyed the ascent. Cuthbert was of 
the party, but rode to the foot of the hill for Pixey's sake. We 
have ordered a pony-carriage ; it is to be a light two- wheeled 
affair of the plainest kind, to carry two persons ; Bertha can 
drive. This will draw them in fine weather, whether they like 
it or not, to exercise the pony, and I count upon it as one means 
of improving my wife's health, and, therewith, her spirits. 

The conclusion of the Corn Law paper, that is, all that 
purports to have been written after the debate in the House 
of Commons, is not mine : you would probably discover 
this, for it bears marks of a parliamentary tactician, and in- 
deed I suppose it to be Croker's, wholly or in part, for he has 
often a hand there when the paper comes from another person. 
Lord Mahon was so ill pleased with the temper of some inter- 
polations introduced into a paper of his that, to justify himself, 
he printed the paper as he had written it. 

Dear friend, God bless you. 




BTJCKLAND, May '3rd, 1834 

And as lovely a May day as ever Poet sung the earth 
teeming with beauty and f ruitf ulness ; the air balmy and 
fragrant with the breath of honeysuckles at least about my 
windows, where they are in luxuriant blossom ; two nightingales 
trying to outsing each other in the garden beside the house ; 
the cuckoo's voice uttering its first call (that I have heard this 
year) ; the pigeons feeding round me as I sit at the open win- 
dow ; not a cloud in the sky, but a few small fleeces that look 
like wafted blossoms from below. 


On the subject of Sunday schools, and indeed national 
schools, to the extent they have been carried of late years, I 
have always felt persuaded, though with misgivings of my own 
judgment, that they were bad substitutes for home teaching, for 
parental instruction; and that the technical familiarity with 
Scripture (if I so express myself) acquired by poor children 
in the routine of school teaching ill supplies the place of that 
homely instruction which infuses practical piety rather than 
abstract ideas, and strengthens the holy ties of natural affection 
while inculcating our blessed faith in that simple form which is 
its glory, knowledge sufficient to salvation. But thinking thus 
as I do, and have always done, I see that the day is gone past 
when every poor cottage might have been, as was once the case 
in Scotland, a temple, where the " priest-like father read the 
sacred page" to the assembled family. Throughout all classes 
of the lower orders there is a frightful change in the domestic 
relations, not only in manufacturing but in agricultural districts ; 
it manifests itself to me in almost every cottage I enter by tokens 
that make the heart sick : little ones, lisping infants, to be " got 
out of the way " (of the mother's way !) to Infant and other 
schools and then the mother goes out charing, and the hus- 
band gets his meal at the beershop. The children get prizes 
for quick answers and clever distinctions between Melchizedek 
and Methusalem, while neither girl nor boy learns a single house- 
hold duty least of all the first and greatest, filial affection and 
respect ; and the moment the young brood can fly, they do so, 
without a lingering look of love, or the old birds beat them off 
if they are slow at taking wing. What is to be the end of all 
this ? This moral deterioration of the lower orders is the terrific 
feature of the times ; and lo ! the Trades Unions the march of 
mind, the diffusion of knowledge (such knowledge) is power- 
fully illustrated there. 

Your decision about the mystery connected with Cowper is 
just what I supposed it would be, if the circumstances made 
known to you were such as could not be made public without 
casting a shadow over the beautiful and lovable character of 
that "stricken deer," for such he surely was ; and if there is 


anything criminating in the fact you are possessed of, I should 
feel as sure almost as of Cowper's existence, that it is to be laid 
to the score of insanity. One thing you may tell me : is New- 
ton the relator of that fact ? If he is, what dependence can be 
placed on the authority of the author of such autobiography as 
his, full of insane and disgusting fanaticism ? 

Pray tell me, when you have read it, how you like Mary 
Hewitt's book. I hope you will like much of it. I fear I may 
be the friend the loss of whom she spoke of to Miss Wordsworth. 
I could not disguise or soften my opinion of her husband's say- 
ings and doings when I replied to her letter her charming 
deprecating letter. My heart smote me a little for the savage 
return I made to it ; but my great reason for speaking very 
plain was, that she spoke of her husband's intention to visit 
me in the autumn. Shall I ask him to meet you ? 

I ride my pony in spite of his tricks. He, King Oberon, 
sends greeting to Pixie, one of his vassals of a certie. I wish 
the king was as well-behaved. 

God bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, May 21 st, 1834. 

Summer is now bringing with it its train of interruptions. 
Bertha and Kate look to them with pleasure, and I expect them 
with my wonted patience, but their mother is in so miserable a 
state of spirits, that whether she sees some of the persons who 
may come, or keeps away from them all, I know not how to 
advise, because I know not which would have the most injurious 
effect. I am almost hopeless of any relief from medicines, be- 
cause the hope which should assist in producing it is wanting. 


However, Dr. Kidd of Oxford, my old schoolfellow, is coming 
early in July ; and perhaps she may be induced to place some 
faith in him. 

I shall probably take Kate into Sussex. Edith very much 
wishes to have her, being very much alone. My daughters 
have little chance of ever finding another home so cheerful as 
their father's has been. If one could choose one's lot, it would be 
to have the morning cloudy and the evening fine, that is, sup- 
posing we were sure of the whole day. 

May 28th, 1834. Mr. Swain is with me for a week a 
Manchester poet who has made his way into daylight chiefly by 
the kind notice of James White, and the means of the Literary 
Gazette. You would like his poems, and you would like him. 
After many difficulties and misfortunes his prospects are now 
fair, and he wants nothing to render him as happy as he de- 
serves to be, except, alas ! a stronger constitution. But that re- 
ceived a shock some few years ago, and his countenance (a very 
fine one) has a dark and unhealthy hue, which shows that there 
is something amiss within. Just now, however, he is in a state 
of great enjoyment. Cats' Eden is a Paradise to him, which well 
it may be to one who lives at Manchester and never was at the 
Lakes before, nor ever before set foot upon a mountain. We soon 
made him feel that there was no one to be afraid of here ; and 
his visit will not only furnish him with a stock of recollections 
on which he will love to dwell, but will be of some use to him 
in his own circle, by showing that he is thought something 
of beyond it. 

Yesterday I went up Skiddaw with him and Davies, to the 
great delight of both. But Swain would hardly have accom- 
plished the ascent if I had not administered three table spoon- 
fuls of whiskey and water, as often as required. He is a very 
temperate man, and therefore felt the whole benefit of such a 
medicine, and to-day he is all the better, as well as the happier, 
for having performed so great a feat. It was a charming day, 
with air enough and not too much, and nothing could be more 
delightful than to be on the summit. I was not in the slighest 
degree fatigued : you may conclude therefore that I am in good 


condition at present ; though the summer here for the last week 
or ten days threatened me with symptoms of my old catarrh. 

Swain made very particular inquiries concerning my " dear 
friend, and sister poetess," for whose writings he has a true 

Alas, I, too, am against the grain moving in political affairs ! 
I have two petitions about the Universities, and the Dissenters on 
the circuit for subscriptions, and my assistance has just been 
asked for a third respecting the Poor Bill. Moreover, I suspect 
that a fourth is brooding against the beer-shops, in which also 
I shall be expected to become act and part. So you see that if 
the business of the nation should not go on as it ought to do, it 
will be no fault of the inhabitants of the town of Keswick and 
parish of Crosthwaite ! 

Dear friend, God bless you. 



BFCKLAND, July 23rcZ, 1834. 

Since I wrote to you I have made a voyage ! a sea voyage ! 
Not quite to either India, nor even across the Channel, but still 
a sea voyage in our Solent, to visit my cousin Tom Eoche on 
board his ship the Victory, now Sir Thomas Williams's flag- 
ship at Portsmouth. I spent three hours on board, part of them 
you may be sure full of thoughtful interest, having your book 
all the while in my head and heart ; most of all when I stood 
on that little spot, now distinguished by a brass plate, where 
Nelson fell, and afterwards in the small cabin partitioned off 
from the cockpit, where he breathed his last. 

I have been holding silent converse lately with another 
friend of yours, that unhappy man Sir Egerton Brydges. 
Poesy never had a warmer, a more earnest and sincere votary ; 



and if I may judge from some of the sonnets in his Autobio- 
graphy, he deserves to be classed in no mean rank of poets. 
What an indefatigable spirit ! What varied powers and aims, 
and all how comparatively misapplied and ill-directed, or at 
least frittered away under the influences of an unhappy temper, 
and an ill-regulated mind, wanting the control and stay of re- 
ligious principle. But considerate gentleness and kindness, 
such as he has met with from you, might have done much with 
the irritable and galled spirit ; and I can well suppose how little 
sympathy and allowance he met with from the family and 
neighbours, to whom truly his pride and eccentricities must have 
made him anythng but an agreeable companion and acquaint- 
ance. Very beautifully he sometimes writes. Some parts of 
his Imaginative Biography put me in mind of Landor. 

The Howitts will not take affront from me. She has sent 
me another charming little book she has just published for 
children, and he writes me a letter such as one can hardly 
fancy from the pen of the fierce Nottingham Demagogue. 
Shall I invite friend William to meet you here ? He is galled, 
I see, at having his " offences," as he expresses it, " visited on 
his innocent wife." 

I have been lately in company with Charlotte Smith's sister 
" The Peacock at Home," commonly called Mrs. Dorset. Re- 
taining all her faculties and shrewd ones they are with the 
exception of hearing in full perfection at the age of eighty- 
four. She draws very beautifully ; and her enthusiasm for the 
art is so unabated, that while staying in this neighbourhood 
with her niece Charlotte Smith she got a young friend of mine 
to give her some lessons in a new style of body-colour, and 
actually hurried off home (so her niece told me), that she might 
set to and practise her new acquirement without let or hin- 
drance. She spoke with great admiration of some Poems of 
Hartley Coleridge published last year. What do you say of 

I have made up all my differences with Oberon ; and if not 
so perfect as Pixie, he will serve my turn as well I hope as 
Pixie does yours. My other pony, on which the servant used 


to follow to take care of me, fell sick ; so being thrown on my 
own valour and made desperate, I got the better of my re- 
fractory steed and my own fears, and now ride all over the 
country, " sans peur et sans reproche " I hope, though such 
lady errantry rather outsteps the bounds of decorum ; for 
these matters I choose to class myself with the privileged 
better sort." 

I like your project for next summer, for your own sake and 
Mr. Taylor's. I do not quite like Lockhart's review of Philip 
Van Artevelde. A rare game of puss in the corner the Cabinet 
have been playing ! Lord Althorpe has, as the French say, 
" covered himself with glory." Beckford's book greatly offends 
me in all that relates to Holland and Germany, often offends 
me even in Italy, but for the most part delights me in Portugal 
and Spain. The vile, sneering, morbid tone that more or less 
pervades the first volume is detestable to me. 

Grod bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, August 20th, 1834. 

I returned yesterday from Lowther, whither I was invited 
to meet Kogers, now (in all human probability) on his last visit 
to this country. It may, almost as probably, be my last visit 
to that castle. Lord Lonsdale is seventy-six years of age; 
healthy and active as he is, his life hangs as by a thread ; the 
first influenza that affects him may be expected to prove fatal, 
and after his death Lowther is not likely to be what it now is. 
His heir is not fond of the place, and it is supposed that he will 
live there as little as he can. 

The Dowager Duchess of Richmond was there a person 
who will be remembered in history for the ball that she gave 

X 2 


at Brussels, from whence sonany officers set out for the field in 
which they fell. 

I walked home, starting at half-past six. The distance by 
the shortest line, which I succeeded in finding by paths some of 
which are seldom trodden, is nineteen miles; and when you 
hear that I was not fatigued, you will conclude that I am in 
good bodily health. 

The time of our departure for the south cannot be fixed till 
we know whether Mr. and Mrs. Rickman come here to join 
their daughters and take them home. With all my dislike to 
moving, when it is once determined that the move must be 
made, I wish to be as soon as possible in motion, especially 
when so long a journey lies before me that it must carry me far 
into the winter. Most likely I shall take Kate with me as far as 
London, and send her from thence by the Worthing coach to 
her sisters. This seems to be settled, as far as I can see, but 
her mother is in miserable health and more miserable spirits ; 
the disease in fact being there ; and this evil is sure to be 
aggravated by parting with three at once, and two of them for 
a long time. Cuthbert's indeed will be a serious departure : 
this home will never again be his home except during vacation. 
At his age these things are not seen and understood and felt 
as they are at mine, and well it is that they are not that the 
business and evils of life open upon us gradually. 

You ask if I should like to see William Howitt. There is 
one reason why I should not, and that is that very possibly I 
may have occasion to answer his attack upon the Church ; and 
as in that case I should most certainly deal with him as he 
deserves upon that score, it is much better that there should be 
no personal acquaintance between us. His wife, I am very 
sure, I should like ; and very probably there is much in him 
that is to be liked also ; but it is as an author that he is likely 
to come in my way, and only as an author do I wish to know 
him. There will then be nothing to withhold me from ex- 
pressing myself fully and severely. 

Henry Taylor's play has been remarkably successful. Eogers 
tells me they are reprinting it in America, and translating it 


(which was to be expected) at Brussels, but into French in- 
stead of Dutch. If Bilderdijk and his wife had been living 
he would, I think, have not wanted a competent Dutch trans- 
lator. They knew him and liked him. 

I have not seen Beckford's book, but should expect it to be 
as you describe it. No talents can compensate for that want of 
moral feeling which is likely to appear in anything he may 
write. His house near Cintra was only not the most beautiful 
place I ever saw, because there was one within two or three 
miles which was in some respects better. His was called Mon- 
serrat, because of the supposed resemblance between the moun- 
tains of Cintra and the Catalan mountain. The finer situation 
you may have heard your uncle speak of by the name of Penha 
Verde, the seat of the old Portuguese hero Don Joam de Castro. 
If I could make any spot in the world my own by a wish, it 
would be that, provided Portugal by the same wish could be 
made as peaceful as it was four-and-thirty years ago. 

You have received, I hope, my third volume of which all I 
have to say is, that the first Life in it would more properly have 
appeared in the fourth. How it came to be thus misplaced is 
not worth explaining. As soon as that was finished, I wrote a 
paper upon Dr. Watts prefatory to a volume of his poems in 
the "Sacred Classics." In this I have done what his other 
biographers have left undone looked into his opinions. And if 
I had had about as much space again allowed me, and if, more- 
over, it had not been necessary to abstain from any remarks which 
would have offended the dissenters, I could have made a much 
better and more useful essay. Now I go to the Life of Cowper 
as my chief occupation, creeping on at intervals with the Ad- 
mirals. When I shall write anything for the Quarterly Review 
or, if ever again is altogether doubtful ; meantime I have 
enough to do. 

God bless you, dear friend. 




BUCKLAND, September 16th, 1834. 

Already the periodical press is teeming with sayings and 
doings and letters of poor Coleridge ; and I saw a sort of adver- 
tisement purporting " that the afflicted widow of a lately 
deceased poet earnestly requested all persons having letters or 
papers of his to place them in her hands," &c. This appeared 
within a fortnight of Coleridge's death. Was the nameless 
advertiser his widow? 

I wish, as you yourself desire it, that you may be at liberty 
to set off this month on your southern pilgrimage ; but even 
more heartily do I wish you could commence it under more 
cheerful auspices than are to be expected from what you tell me 
of Mrs. Southey's dejection of mind. Your last account disap- 
pointed me, a former letter having made cheerful report of her 
amendment. It is a heavy infliction to the poor sufferer, and 
those who witness a misery they cannot alleviate. " Grod help 
you" is all I can say on such a subject. 

I anticipate your promised visit with less of gladness than 
on any former occasion, because I am sensible that more than 
one cause will sadden you on leaving home ; but then, as you 
draw near Edith, your heart must be gladdened, and I dwell 
on that thought with more than pleasure. 

I am in sorrowful, really sorrowful, expectation of hearing 
very shortly of poor Blackwood's death. My poor Monster! 
Always a kind Monster to me he has been, and must have had 
(though how acquired I can hardly tell) some regard for me ; 
for I received last week a very affecting letter from his son, 
informing me of his father's almost hopeless state, after having 
languished on a bed of sickness and pain since March last, in 
the course of which melancholy interval he had often spoken of 
me ; and the poor son added from himself that a letter from me 
would, he knew, afford great gratification to his father. You 


may guess how promptly I wrote, and with what feelings ; but 
never, I think, a letter that cost me such thought and pain in 
the framing, for I was cautioned not to let him suspect his 
son's communication to me, for fear of awakening him to a 
sense of his imminent danger, which, his surgeons said, was to 
be carefully avoided. 

My Monster was worth ten of yours, autocrat of fashion as 
he has been in his line. What trashy mischief the press now 
teems with ! and to what depths of degeneracy will that public 
taste decline which admits and admires Bulwer, and such as 
13ulwer, as dictators in taste, literature, politics, and morals? 

Lord Brougham should espouse Miss Martineau a la main 
gauche, though Lord Althorp, and the Bishop of London, and 
other champions and enactors of the Poor Law Bill might 
dispute the honour of her hand with him. 

I am writing under the stupefying influence of a blinding 
cold an excellent excuse for a stupid letter. 

Gtod bless you, dear friend. 



BUCKLAKD, Sunday Evening, October 29/t, 1834. 

I am so glad to hear you do not part with Cuthbert this 
winter, for all your sakes, and he will be no loser by the delay. 
He will learn his first great lesson in human sorrow and human 
sympathy in the sanctuary of his home, where it will sink into 
his young heart with no rude or unsalutary pressure, where he 
will have the example of your faith and patience before him a 
living lesson, better worth than Divines could teach, and the 
best stimulus to industry and exertion in the desire of proving 
his filial affection at a time when that of your children must be 


your chief earthly comfort. Thank God! precious as is that 
stay, it is not your only, or your chief, support. 

Nothing can be more striking than the passage you tran- 
scribe, written on the very brink of your appointed trial.* 
Dear friend, God sees fit to prove you, even more sharply than 
the keenest and closest self-scrutiny could have effected; but 
He will bring you out of this ordeal also, as He did before, 
when your lovely and beloved were taken from you. Often 
have I so questioned with my own heart as to the nature of its 
resignation, and of late years I have humbly ventured to rest 
upon a very simple conclusion, that however imperfect my sub- 
mission may and must be, it is still such resignation as will be 
accepted for Christ's sake, because I feel, and am sure, not only 
that God chasteneth me in mercy, but that I love Him the 
better for His fatherly correction. You know I am unskilled 
in any but the heart's logic, and that is often fallible. I hope 
not in my case in this matter. How much I should like to see 
your letter to Mrs. Hughes ; but as you had forgotten it, I fear 
you have no copy. 

I had something to tell you, in reserve for our meeting too ; 
that I had heard lately of a very interesting miniature picture 
of Cowper, done when he was a child, about the age he de- 
scribes in his affecting poem to his mother's picture. I had 
asked for and obtained the address of the person (in Ireland) 
who possesses this picture, thinking it might be desirable to 
procure an engraving from it for your projected Life. There is 
also a letter of Newton's to Hannah More (in Eoberts's lately 
published work) that might be worth referring to. He pressed 
too hard, in his injudicious zeal, on poor Cowper's sick and 
tender spirit. 

God bless you, comfort you, keep you now and ever, dear 


* A passage on resignation in "The Doctor," written just before the 
true state of Mrs. Southey's mind declared itself. 




KESWICK, November 2nd, 1834. 

Last night was the first good night's rest which I have had 
for many weeks ; I did not awake till the clock struck seven ; 
and to-day my nervous feeling has given way to a drowsy one, 
as if nature were taking its own course for bringing me into my 
usual state of health. 

Thank you for your intimation concerning Cowper's portrait. 
I shall be very glad if it can be obtained. " Hannah More's Life" 
I will look for in due time. Newton unquestionably did some 
injury to Cowper by over- working him in religious exercises. 
All his (Newton's) letters to Mr. Thornton are now in my pos- 
session; the far greater part of their contents is perfectly 
worthless that sort of religious writing which disgusts one as 
much with the profession of piety as a water-gruel diet would 
disgust one with food. Yet Newton was a man of extraordinary 
powers of mind, of ardent feeling, and perfect sincerity and 
great strength of heart. Thornton, who was his benefactor, 
required such letters from him once a fortnight, and poor New- 
ton seems to have sat down to them as a schoolboy to his 
theme, or a sorry spin-text to his sermon at the latter end of the 
week. They cease upon his removal from Olney to London. 
Though they do not contain much about Cowper in proportion 
to their number, yet they tell me more than I could have 
gathered from any printed documents, or think it right to make 

Have you seen " Bishop Jebb's Correspondence with Alex- 
ander Knox " ? If you have not, send for it in your next 
parcel from the circulating library. I am sorry that I never 
saw Mr. Knox. He was little heard of out of his own circle ; 
but in that circle he exercised a great influence which has been 
widely felt, in one instance (the Catholic question) for evil, in 
others for good, and the good effect is likely to continue and to 


extend. His other correspondence will be published by Mr. 
Hornby, the Rector of Winwick. 

God bless you, dear friend. I boasted too soon yesterday of 
returning rest, and must try to-day what a longer walk will do 
for me by producing bodily weariness. Nov. 3. 




BUCKLAND, November 18th, 1834. 

Among my store of gossip for you when you came to me was 
a confession little creditable to me, that I had a very discredit- 
able visitor that meek man, William Howitt ; yes, and liked 
him too ! could not help it for my life, though I made it a point 
to keep all his sins on the first leaf of my remembrance, and to 
let him know that I did. He was touring through the New 
Forest, picking up materials for another " Book of the Seasons," 
or something of that sort. Well for him and his poor wife if 
he had kept to such blameless lucubrations. He was going 
from hence coast-wise into Cornwall, ten to one with some 
more mischievous purpose in view than his ostensible one ; for 
the men of the extreme west are just the sort of people, and in 
that fermenting state, that would work well in his hands. And 
yet that man, as he showed himself to me, seems made up of 
all good and kindly elements, with -a degree of plain-speaking 
frankness that pleased me, as he took special care not to call the 
clergy "knaves and fools" to me. 

Well, the vermin have been smokedjout with a vengeance ! 
Can you guess of whom the new Cabinet will be composed ? 
Can you even venture to wish among those who are most likely 
to be leaders ? Whoever is in, the Pulchinello Chancellor will 
tumble in among them by some hocus-pocus manoeuvre. How 


rarely he and Lord Durham have been performing Punch and 
Judy for the edification of the nation ! 

The miniature of Cowper in childhood is in the possession of 
James Cochrane, Esq., Sligo, Ireland. Mr. Cochrane is one of the 
principal merchants of Sligo. His picture was a copy (the only 
one) from the original, of which he gave a history to my friend 
Captain Felix, but the latter had forgotten it, and all I could 
extract from him was the address as above, and his assurance 
(which I could depend on) that the picture was most interesting. 

May dod be "about your bed and about your path," and 
keep you in all your ways, dear friend. 




KESWICK, December 7M, 1834. 

I wish you could have given a more favourable account of 
your own bodily afflictions. Your state of mind could not be 
better, and in this you set me an example. Yet a few years 
and we shall look back upon these trials as we now do upon 
the troubles of our childhood ; but there is this difference be- 
tween them, that it must be our own fault if we are not the 
better for the discipline which we now undergo. 

So you were pleased with the revolutionary Quaker. I 
should like to know how far he is really a Quaker. If he is 
one to the full extent of Quakerism, he believes in as gross a 
delusion as ever was inculcated under any system of priestcraft. 
And if he stops short of that full belief, I should then like to 
know how far he is from infidelity, to which the liberalism of 
the Quakers closely approximates. In either predicament he 
may nevertheless have many estimable and amiable qualities; 
and if he has a kind heart and a feeling one, time is likely 
enough to teach him more wisdom, and, at least, to keep him 
from going farther wrong, even though it should not bring him 


into the right way. I dare say that if he and I were acci- 
dentally to meet, we should part in good will, each wondering 
that the other could be so grievously mistaken upon opinions of 
the greatest moment. 

Time was when a political crisis like the present would have 
excited in me the liveliest interest. It is no good symptom as 
relating to myself that I now think of it only while the news- 
paper is in my hand ; this, however, is not entirely because I am 
absorbed in my own concerns, but in great degree because, not 
knowing what to wish in the perplexed state of public affairs, I 
content myself with the quiet belief that whatever instruments 
may be employed, the designs of Providence will be brought 

Dear friend, (rod bless you. 



BTJCKLAKD, December 21st, 1834. 

I have to thank you for recommending to me a book that 
has (the greater part of it) deeply interested me " Jebb's Cor- 
respondence with Knox." In consequence of my own ignorance 
and incapacity, probably, I do not clearly comprehend what 
were the peculiar religious views of those two good men ; for that 
they were peculiar Knox especially gives us often to understand. 

In reading Roberts's four thick, heavy volumes of Hannah 
More's Life and Correspondence (an ill got-up work), I was not 
a little surprised never to find your name on a single page, I 
think not once ; and yet her dear friend Wilberforce knew and 
loved you well. But I suppose you were not sufficiently ortho- 
dox (query, heterodox) to satisfy the " holy Hannah," whose 
great abilities, and excellent intentions, and wonderful exertions 
I admire and reverence heartily ; but I never should have loved 


her. She was born with a birch rod in her hand, and worst of 
all was a shameless flatterer and insatiable of flattery ; this I 
know from persons long and well acquainted with her, and in 
all other respects her warm admirers. Her acceptance of a pen- 
sion in compensation for a husband is a vile blot, never to be 
expunged, in her character ; and there is something wholly in- 
explicable to me in her living separate, as she did, from her 
widowed mother, and indeed in the apparent coolness of her 
filial affection. I am talking to you probably of a work you 
have not read and may little care to read, but my gossiping is 
easily laid aside, at least, if it is impertinent. 

I continued this year to make a festival of a day that has 
long ceased to be one to me of my birthday, the 6th of this 
month. Once more I assembled my little household at night to 
close the day with me, as we were wont till I became afflicted 
with that disease in my mouth two years ago. I felt less desolate 
that night when I went to rest than I had done for many years 
on the same anniversary, and the fruit of feelings was the little 
poem I inclose. That day would be to me a festival indeed 
which should bring me tidings of good hope and brightening 
prospects with you. 

Grod bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICZ, December 28th, 1834. 

You will, no doubt, read both Bishop Jebb's Life and 
Alexander Knox's Remains, as I shall do as soon as they are 
published. Their system I take to be no other than the 
genuine Church of England doctrine, which, resting upon the 
old standard of Catholicism, allows none of that latitude that 
makes everyone his own interpreter of the Scriptures. This I 


take to be their corner-stone. They held also (which is also the 
Church doctrine) a real presence in the bread and wine, alto- 
gether unconnected with transubstantiation, and not attempting 
to explain one of the mysteries of our faith. Knox published a 
little treatise upon this, which I have, and which Mr. Hornby 
will probably include among his Remains. Their other opinions 
are all referable to a belief in the providential course of history 
and all things. 

I very much wish I had seen Mr. Knox. Wordsworth saw, 
and was very much interested with him. Accidentally I saw a 
number of the " Christian Observer " the other day, in which 
this correspondence is attacked in the bitter spirit of what I call 
the Dysangelical party a proper name, because what they 
preach would, if true, be tidings of great woe. Knox took up 
his notion of my disbelief of the Devil from my speaking in the 
" Life of Wesley" of the " personified principle of evil." That 
there are evil spirits, as well as wicked men, no one who 
believes in anything spiritual can reasonably doubt. My specu- 
lations upon subjects on which we may innocently speculate, 
and where nothing beyond speculation is possible, you will one 
day see, and in the most serious of them I am very sure that 
you will cordially concur. 

Grod bless you, dear Caroline. 



KESWICK, February 8th, 1835. 

Mr. Knox's own principle, that extremes are permitted be- 
cause they serve to counteract extremes, and thus ultimately to 
bring about what, in the phrase of the day, must be called the 
juste milieu, is exemplified in himself whenever he approximates 
to the Dysangelical school (that name ought to be fixed upon. 


them, for they preach dismal tidings, evil tidings, the very 
opposite to those which were announced as " glory to God and 
goodwill towards men "). I have not seen his Remains, because 
in this uncertainty of my own movements I have not ordered 
any books from London. Hannah More's Life has been lent 
us, and I have had some extracts made from it, as notes for 
the Life of Cowper and for Dr. Bell's. The book itself comes 
from very incompetent hands. Whoever Mr. Roberts may be, 
he seems to have had no other qualification than that he was a 
" professor," as persons of that description call themselves. I 
am uncharitable enough to think that the proper Hebrew trans- 
lation of the word would be Pharisee. Never was there a life 
written which told you so little of the history of the individual : 
everything that could have illustrated it is either hurried over 
or slurred over. The non-appearance of my name is, as you 
observe, remarkable enough; the more so, because in 1795 I 
dined with her at Cowslip Green, and called upon her at Bath 
in the winter of the same year. And when at Bristol, in 1830, 
I left a card at her door, upon an assurance from some of her 
friends that it would gratify her much to see me. 

But you may observe that Wordsworth also is never named, 
nor any author indeed, Sir Walter excepted, out of the pro- 
fessional pale. Is this because she spoke with so little charity 
of all who were not within the line, that the Editor thought it 
prudent to suppress her opinions, or because she spoke with so 
much, that he deemed the suppression a duty, lest her approba- 
tion should afford a sanction to anything that came from that 
great division of the human race, described by him, and such as 
him, under the similitude of goats ? That my name must often 
have occurred in her correspondence no one can doubt. 

I liked her when I saw her much better than Mrs. Barbauld, 
or Miss Seward, who, however, with all her affectation, had a 
very likeable warmth and sincerity about her. Mrs. Barbauld" 
was cold as her creed : her niece, Miss Lucy Aikin, when I 
saw her (which was before she commenced historian !), pert as 
a pear-monger. 

God bless you, dear friend. You shall hear of my move- 


ments as soon as I can determine on them, and of everything 
that concerns me. Once more farewell. 



BUCKLAND, February 28A, 1835. 

Are you, as the periodicals announce, about to edit the 
correspondence of Charles Lamb, and to write his life ? They 
are mangling that, and his memory already, I see, according to 
the taste of the times. I would as lief have your "Mister 
Joseph " by my death-bed, if I was a great literary character, 
as one of those jackals of the Press, and the Evan " Dis- 
evangelicals" as you well call them are full as revolting in 
their way. Witness the short-hand collectors of last dying 
words that surrounded Hannah More and her poor sisters in 
their last moments ; in her case treasuring up and revealing all 
that should have been most sacredly veiled, as indications of a 
decaying and weakened mind. Her Editor has done her me- 
mory more dishonour than the most slanderous of her accusers. 
Now what say you ? I hear much talk and eulogy of Hannah 
More's fine and tender feelings. I think she was little troubled 
with the infirmity of a tender nature. What ! she who 
could make one among the spectators in the Abbey when her 
best friend was laid in his grave ! who could look into that grave, 
before the crowd, and come home and write about it ! No 
I never could have loved H. More ; and then she talks of her 
own sensibility, and " cannot bear " forsooth " to think of her 
poor solitary widowed mother." Why did she leave her so ? I 
love and respect sister Patty better a thousand times. My old 
venerable friend William Gilpin was very much displeased with 
Hannah for her " presumption," as he termed it, of publishing 
the letters on " The Education of a young Princess." "She might 


have left it to the Bishop her preceptor," said the old man ; but 
Hannah was horn like Minerva, ready armed, only with a birch 
rod witness her appropriation, when a little child, of the 
coveted quire of writing paper ; she scribbled it all over with 
letters of advice and rebuke, &c. 

I must tell you an electioneering anecdote told to me by the 
brother-in-law of the gentleman (Sir John Bae Reed) in the 
course of whose canvass for Dover it occurred " No," said the 
radical farmer, the honour of whose support Sir John was 
soliciting " No, I'll never support no man what votes against 
animal Parliaments and universal suffering." 

What a miserable business we have made of it with the 
Chinese; but I was delighted with their manifesto. "What 
right have we Barbarians to force the trade ? 

And now farewell, and God bless you, dear friend. 




KESWICK, May IQth, 1835. 

We have now been nearly six weeks at home, and on the whole 
the amendment has been such, that though I dare not hope 
for complete recovery, it seems highly probable we may all 
migrate together to Sussex in the autumn. This is the only 
wish which my poor Edith will acknowledge, and this she 
certainly has at heart. She is perfectly contented, even when 
least herself ; and this alone would make me rejoice in having 
brought her home ; I need not say how much better it is for us 
to be with her than to have our thoughts continually dwelling 
upon her at a distance. Should our present plans take effect 
Cuthbert will come to us at the beginning of August, and we 


shall return with him in the latter end of September. In that 
case you will probably see me before the close of the year. 

I have not yet thanked you for those lines of Cowper's ; the 
invective parts have not been printed, but methinks there can 
be no objection to printing them now. Every day I have 
deferred writing to Mrs. Anne Bagot, because every day has 
brought with it more to do than it allowed] time for doing. 
I should certainly be very glad to have Mr. Bagot's collection 
of letters entrusted to me, as I have Lady Hesketh's, and 
Mr. Unwin's (which are much more numerous than what you 
saw). These I am going over as an after-supper amusement, 
marking what has been omitted in the printed copies (which 
is often of as much value as the selected parts), and correcting 
the faults which the printers have introduced, and the editor 
overlooked, to the great injury of Cowper's own pure and easy^ 
style. Mrs. Unwin's grandson has sent this collection to the 
publisher for my use, and with it the manuscript of John 
Gilpin has come. One wonders that such a curiosity should have 
been thus hazarded, when there could be no use in sending it. 

Some letters to a Mr. Clotworthy Rowley have been sent 
from Ireland ; they are not many, but I collect some interest- 
ing facts from them. One is of earlier date than any that has 
been published, and it shows how Cowper regarded the prospect 
of his worldly affairs, the year before his malady broke out. 

Alexander Knox wrote me a very long letter to show that 
Wesley was at no time actuated by ambitious feelings, but that 
whatever I had ascribed to such a motive in his conduct was 
nothing more than the inevitable effect of circumstances, his 
object being always the love of Grod and the good of his fellow 
creatures. The letter convinced me when I received it that he was 
right and that I had been mistaken, and I had his permission 
to print it whenever my " Life of Wesley " should be reprinted. 
If I ever reprint it (which I much wish to do), I should introduce 
it with an epistle dedicatory to Lord John Russell, who, as you 
have probably seen, attempted the other day to sneak into 
favour with the Methodists by saying that when he spoke ill 
of them it was because he had been deceived by my misrepre- 


sentations. He scruples at no subterfuge and no falsehood that 
will serve his purpose for a time. 

The O'Connell tribe have probably learnt that 

has once been disordered in his intellect; how it 

manifested itself I never heard, but the father was said to have 
removed from London in order to withdraw him for a time from 
scenes of excitement. Overweening vanity, with nothing to 
ballast it, was probably the cause that overset him. His books 
represent him very faithfully ; they are all (at least all that I 
have seen) clever, audacious and disagreeable. I wish he was 
more likeable, or more tolerable, for his father's sake, who is a 
thoroughly good-natured man. 

My spirits, thank God, are quite equal to the demand upon 
them. Indeed now that the shock is over and that I see the worst, 
there is less to try them than there was while the disease was 
coming on, and its nature was utterly unsuspected; and this 
was for some years. 

In the course of next month you shall have a certain third 
volume* you will find yourself mentioned : and if the spirit 
moves you to write a story which it is there said that you could 
relate as it ought to be related, and that I will not relate because 
it is too mournful a task, do so, and it shall have its place in 
the next volume. 

Dear friend, Grod bless you. 


* Of The Doctor: see Chapter CY. "Caroline Bowles, whom no 
authoress or author has ever surpassed in truth, and tenderness, and 
sanctity of feeling, could relate such a story as it ought to be related, if 
stories which in themselves are purely painful ought ever to be told." 

Y 2 



BUCKLAND, June 2nd, 1835. 

" Aballiboozobanganorribo ! " what the deuce is the meaning 
of it ? Such was my rather inelegant ejaculation, after cogi- 
tating for ten minutes over that awful word in a certain chapter 
of a certain book, my curiosity being of course whetted by pro- 
hibition. What a book ! what a book ! what a delectable book 
that is! How I congratulate myself upon having abstained 
from reading it till I had a head again which did not come to 
pass for more than three weeks after you left me. 

Why there is the concentrated essence of a life's reading in 
those two volumes, and better, of a life's feeling, and best of all 
to me, I found you in every chapter. I am sure I should have 
unriddled the riddle in the first ten minutes' reading had I read 
the book when you so demurely recommended it to me. Write, 
write, write on next to talking with you and reading your 
letters, I shall enjoy this delightful gossip, that makes one 
laugh and cry, pleased and provoked, and out of all patience, all 
in a breath. Mais tout en badinant slip in words of wisdom that 
better the heart, and fill the mind with wholesome and serious 
thoughtfulness. So you have worked me in, with other odds 
and ends, in the third volume. Be sure I shall look for that 
page first. But how do you answer it to your conscience to 
tempt me to do that which you have not the heart to venture 
on yourself (mine is made of flint you suppose), and somewhere 
in these very volumes you condemn ? I cannot make out the 
Bhow Begum ? Is it Miss Hutchinson ? I looked at my own 
black bag, and laughed. How Bowles of Bremhill would, I 
think, enjoy The Doctor. 

I was painfully startled the other day by a newspaper an- 
nouncement of the death of Mrs. Hemans. She was one of the 


very few female writers of our time with whom I had felt a 
wish to be acquainted. Her beautiful verses and my poor ones 
have often succeeded each other on the same pages in Black- 
wood, and I had acquired a habit of looking there for her, as 
for some familiar intelligence. I wish you would read her last 
lyric in BlackivoocPs May number. Though I know you did 
not rate her poems so highly as myself, I think you must award 
a meed of cordial praise to these ; and dying as she was, and 
aware of her state, they are affectingly full of deep and solemn 

(rod bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, June 22nd, 1835. 

The great word has no meaning whatever, but is of great 
use, which you will see explained and exemplified in the fourth 
volume, and for which use I composed it myself seven- or eight- 
and-thirty years ago. It then became a household word, but 
all those who used it with me have departed, or are now far away. 
On the day when the book arrived, when I went down to supper, 
Outhbert was so full of that chapter that he rose from his seat 
before supper was ended to show me the long word, and he read 
the whole chapter to me that I might see what a queer book it 
was the queerest he had ever seen ! Twenty years before, that 
very chapter had taken the fancy of his brother, to whom I read 
the beginning when he came to his lessons the morning after it 
had been written, and he too entered fully into the humour of it. 
The book brings to me as many recollections of this kind as the 
sight of wild flowers in spring, and the singing of birds sights 
and sounds that always carry us back to the past. 


Miss Barker, who then lived in the next house, was the 
Bhow Begum : that whole chapter is from the life, and the 
book grew out of that night's conversation, exactly as is there 
related. But to go further back with its history, there is a story 
of Dr. D. D. of D. and his horse Nobs, which have, I believe, 
been made into a hawker's book. Coleridge used to tell it, and 
the humour lay in making it as long-winded as possible ; it 
suited, however, my long-windedness better than his, and I was 
frequently called upon for it by those who enjoyed it, and some- 
fimes I volunteered it when Mrs. Coleridge protested against its 
being told. As you may suppose, it was never told twice alike, 
except as to names and the leading features. 

When I began the book, my view did not extend beyond 
two volumes. In the course of twenty years, however, enough 
in quantity (though not in sequence) for three was written, and a 
superabundance of materials collected for more. Miss Hutchin- 
son then persuaded me to begin to print, Miss H. saying that if it 
was delayed longer, few of those who were in the secret and would 
enjoy it most would be living to enjoy it. The greater part of 
it she transcribed for the press this having been her amuse- 
ment for many years whenever she visited us. 

Of the volume, which you will receive perhaps as soon as this 
letter, nearly four-fifths have been written since the two former 
were published, and about a fourth part while it was in the 
press. Enough, certainly, for three more is written, and how 
much there may be to interweave in these, who can tell ? The 
bookseller's report of a prodigious sale is a bookseller's useful 
puff. One thousand copies were printed, and the Quarterly 
Review and the talk carried off little more than half that num- 
ber by midsummer last. If another hundred has since dropt 
off I should be much surprised ; but the new volume may put 
the remaining copies in motion. 

Intending little more at first than to play the fool in a way 
that might amuse the wise, and becoming " a sadder and a wiser 
man" as I proceeded, I perceived that there was no way in which 
I could so conveniently dispose of some of my multifarious col- 
lections, nor so well send into the world some wholesome but 


unpalatable truths, nor advance speculations upon dark sub- 
jects, without giving offence or exciting animadversion. With 
something therefore of Tristram Shandy in its character, some- 
thing of Rabelais, more of Montaigne, and a little of old Burton, 
the predominant character is still my own. 

It was not till the book went to press that I thought of put- 
ting headings to the chapters, and finding mottos for each. 

Grod bless you. 



BTJCKLAND, August 25th, 1835. 

I repented, for the thousandth time, of my impatience when 
your first letter of the 4th arrived, almost immediately after my 
persecuting one was despatched ; and yet I will make no fur- 
ther excuse than to plead the infirmity of my nature and the 
intensity of my anxious feelings for you and yours under your 
present circumstances. 

I bless God that you are supported, as you are assuredly, 
by Himself. What arm but His could bear you up under the 
crushing weight you are appointed to bear ! But for His sake 
do not think of sending from you your dear filial comforters. 
You say you sometimes think you should be as well without 
them ; I cannot believe it for a moment. It would be a tempt- 
ing of Providence to isolate yourself so unnaturally. 

It did me good to hear of your eighteen miles' walk, and 
eight hours' absence from home. As Pixie seems in favour, I 
conclude he has discontinued his obstreperous conduct. I wish 
my griffin of a steed would take example and reform, but he is 
bent on flinging me over his head, and it is a wonder he has 


not yet accomplished the feat. But desperation has made me 
so valiant that I am actually become a tolerable horsewoman, 
for which I take no small credit to myself, seeing that I never 
took to the exercise until an age when staid respectable persons 
begin to leave it off. If I live to fourscore, I may figure at 
a fox chase. Of late, however, I have had neither time, nor 
health, nor spirits for riding, or any idle pursuit. I think it is 
my fate to be a sort of solitary Beguine, always in requisition 
in some house of sorrow, sickness, or death ; and indeed, lightly 
as I speak, I feel that God is very good to me in appointing 
me my work, and always giving me strength in time of need. 
For the last six weeks I have been leading a strange life 
going backwards and forwards between my own house, where 
I had guests, and that of my relation Mr. Roche, whose eldest 
son has been t in a dying state, and is still in a most precarious 
one. I have been ill, too, all the time, but never quite laid up, 
and I think I am now gaming a little ground. The worst to me 
is, that when I am leading this sort of restless, unsettled life, I 
cannot make the most (as I see others do) of the spare half hours, 
or hours even, that I may call my own ; once out of the railroad 
of my own silent solitary life, I am absolutely good for nothing 
but mere: mechanical exertion and no matter, if the end be 
but peace. 

Is the comet's tail whisking up all moisture from our 
sphere? and has it par hazard had anything to do with the 
late glorious deed at the commemoration of the three glorious 
days ? A friend of mine, married to a Frenchman, told me the 
other day an anecdote delightfully characteristic of French sen- 
sibility. You read, no doubt, the account of the funeral cere- 
monies of the fourteen victims of the infernal machine ; but it 
is not generally known that there ought to have been fifteen to 
complete the coup d'ceil on the catafalque, and that tiie show 
was after all incomplete. Another person was mortally wounded, 
and his death hourly expected and waited for (and prayed for, 
no doubt) till the other bodies could wait no longer. Every 
day the moribund's door was besieged by crowds of anxious 
inquirers. Everywhere the question was asked " Est-il pret ?"' 


" Pas encore" the mortifying reply ; and actually the man was 
so perverse as first to outlive the day when his public appear- 
ance en corps mort would have added so greatly to the gratifi- 
cation of his affectionate fellow-citizens; and to sneak off in 
single blessedness, when not a soul cared sixpence about his 
exit ! This is a real fact. What pretty playful tiger-cats those 
French are not royal tigers. 

I fear I must not entertain any hope of seeing you again 
this autumn. In truth, I had scarcely dared to encourage so 
cheering an expectation. If the cause of prevention were a 
happy one for yourself, my regret, being wholly selfish, would 
be far other than it is now. I think that my solitary, isolated 
life has disposed and led me to identify my feelings with those 
of absent friends be they joyous or sorrowful more than a 
continued course of social intercourse could have done. I know 
not whether this is a common characteristic, but in my case it 
is often a happy one, for good tidings of dear friends almost 
always charm away my melancholy moods. To be sure, there 
is the reverse, as I prove to you sometimes when anxious 
thoughts impel me to break wise resolves and write, when I 
had better wait patiently. Now, farewell, dear friend, and 
God bless you. 



BFCKLAND, October loth, 1835. 

How altered the circumstances of the two families of Greta 
Hall and Bydal since I passed those two happy months at 
Keswick.* May the cloud yet be withdrawn from above you 

* Written shortly after the death of Wordsworth's sister-in-law, Miss 


even in this world, and, at all events, as you say, " but a little 
while, a very little." Those are the very words I oftenest 
murmur to myself when my heart is sad, and " the spirit vexed 
within me," and when a more bitter and less excusable fancy 
thrills, as it sometimes does, through this very weak heart of 
mine a sudden passionate sense of deprivation and abandon- 
ment ; if I do but whisper those other scriptural words " Some- 
thing better, something better," they act upon my disturbance 
like oil on the troubled waves, or rather, like the Voice that said 
to them, " Peace, be still." 

Do you know there is just one sentence I would fain ex- 
punge from the first volume of that delectable book you wot of. 
Many years ago you wrote it. Some years ago perhaps I 
should have read it without the sensation that makes me pause 
upon it now, as if I were treading irreverently on holy ground. 
You will understand, if you do not feel with me, when I point 
out the passage in the sixteenth page " Ladies ! the same 
stone," &c.* You see my informant was right ; the first edition 
has gone off quicker than you anticipated. 

As for the comet, it is quite a take-in a lack-lustre creature, 
with a thin, draggled tail, like a sick turkey. Do not send my 
scientific observations to the newspapers; they have enough 
communications on the subject. I think Halley's comet must 
" keep a poet," as well as Mister Warren. 

God bless you, dear friend. 


* "So ladies," said I, "the stone which the builders rejected," and 
then, looking at my wife's youngest sister, " Oh, it will be such a book!" 



KESWICK, November 8/t, 1835. 

Henry Taylor has been in Keswick for the last twelve days. 
He took up his quarters at the Queen's Head, walked with me 
every day, and came up every evening to tea. After church 
this morning he departed, and we are left to ourselves for the 
winter. He is writing (for anonymous publication) a masterly 
treatise on the business of a statesman, and is meditating a 
tragedy, of which Becket is to be the chief personage. 

You have, I trust, received the first volume of Cowper ; you 
will have to wait a little for the second ; eleven evenings given 
to Henry Taylor have been just so much stoppage of my work. 
However, it is not unfitting that there should thus be some 
such interruptions. But after the second the ensuing volumes 
will reach you monthly as they are published ; and except the 
Homer, you will find some of my handiwork in all. 

A letter of Mrs. Unwin's has reached me too late for use in 
its proper place ; but it is a very important one, as confirming 
my opinion of the extreme want of judgment on the part of 
Cowper's religious friends, as they are called. It was written 
to Mrs. Newton while Cowper was on his long tarriance in the 
vicarage, and during an absence of Mr. and Mrs. Newton ; and 
it appears that both they and Mrs. Unwin, though they thought 
means lawful and expedient in other cases, considered his a par- 
ticular and exempt one, and were persuaded that "the Lord 
Jehovah would alone be exalted when the day of his deliverance 
came." This shows why so many months elapsed before any 
application was made to Dr. Cotton. Some letters of Lady 
Hesketh's have also been sent me, relating to her removal into 
Norfolk. They disclose things upon which Hay ley did not 
like to touch, and of which Grimshawe knows nothing. Indeed, 
that man's ignorance respecting Cowper's real circumstances is 
marvellous. He is, without exception, the most grossly in- 


competent editor in every respect that ever ventured to appear 
in that capacity. 

You object to an allusion which I see no irreverence in 
using, because, of all allusions, those to scriptural expressions 
and scriptural history occur most readily to my mind ; partly, 
I suppose, because my mind is thoroughly imbued with that 
history, and partly perhaps because, of all others, one may 
presume that they are most generally and readily understood. 
(Yet will you believe that when I wrote " The breath of Grod 
goes forth, the dry bones shake," Croker said that, coming from 
me, he supposed it must be a scriptural allusion, and did not 
recognise it?) The Portuguese and Spaniards, in their re- 
ligious poems, sport and even jest with subjects which they yet 
regard with such intense belief that they would put anyone to 
death for intentionally profaning them. I do not say this to 
excuse myself, but as a proof that light allusions may be a 
characteristic of serious belief, as puritanical ones are of phari- 
seeism and hypocrisy. 

God bless you. 



BUCKLAND, November 15th, 1835. 

I know well enough that scriptural allusions may spring 
from anything but irreverence, for they suggest themselves to 
me so familiarly and appositely on all subjects on which I happen 
to be writing, that if I were not a little on my guard I should 
make a most puritanical patchwork on serious subjects, or inter- 
weave with light ones what on reflection would distress me. I 
have such a sin of this sort on my conscience ! If I were to 
tell it you, you would admire the assurance with which I have 
dared to comment upon your application of those words. Per- 


haps my accusing conscience makes me more scrupulous than if 
I had never offended. Among the passages which I have re- 
turned to again and again in a certain work, is one which comes 
particularly home to my feelings. It is that which relates to 
the disuse of our Christian name, to which we become gradually 
sadly accustomed as we advance iu life. I did not think anyone 
could have felt that consequence of time as I have felt it. But 
I was mistaken ; for reading that passage, it was as if my own 
heart spoke. When you first called me by my Christian name, 
the tears rushed into my eyes and I blessed you in my heart, 
for I felt at the moment as if the grave had restored to me a 
friend ; a better feeling succeeded ; I thanked God for having 
raised up one to me on whom I might rely even more surely 
than on those of my early unreflecting youth; God has been 
very good to me. 

Just as I received your Cowper, a friend sent me the whole 
of Grimshawe's edition that I might look over the engravings, 
and I have thus had an opportunity of comparing the two 
most interesting with the same subjects in your first volume 
Cowper and his mother's. Of the poet's portraits one must be 
no likeness, I should think, the features are so utterly dissimilar ; 
the expression is also strikingly at variance in the two, but so 
it might have been in the original, according to his varying 
mood. Of the two, Grimshawe's strikes me as the most pleasing 
because the happiest expression, but it is less intellectual than 
the other, and that other is stamped with a peculiarity that 
would go far to prove it must be the better likeness there is a 
character of insanity in it. It is, I think, by far the most 
spirited engraving, and the little vignette of Berkhampstead is 
a very pretty thing.* 

* In a later letter Caroline Bowles writes of the Life of Cowper as 
follows : 

" Eke it out as I would, your second volume of Cowper came at last, like 
all created things, to the last page, and left me fretting for the rest. You 
have made me like Mrs. Unwin much better than I did, and she must have 
been loveable, from Lady Hesketh's account. But there is nothing loveable 
in that face of hers as represented in the engraving : hard, sharp, for- 


I am no longer solitary in my walks nor by my fireside. 
I have a beautiful small spaniel " the prettiest of his race and 
high in pedigree," and as he already sets himself in a posture 
of defence if anybody pretends to strike or affront me, I give 
him credit for a character quite as intellectual as Beau's. I 
wonder you have never set up a dog, if only for a walking 
companion; and you had a tender regard for a certain Phillis. 

God bless you, dear friend. 




KESWICK, February 21s, 1836. 

Though I keep no account of days, and have long since 
learnt that it is better, as much- as possible, to put all private 
anniversaries out of mind, yet I happen to recollect that on 
this day twelvemonth Cuthbert and I arrived in London. The 
journey will form an epoch in his life, and it was one which I 
am not likely to forget while I remember anything. When I 
may be able to leave home again, Gtad only knows. My presence 

mal, and most puritanical-looking. I guessed at C L in that 

passage you allude to, and too well knew from what other source you had 
drawn sad experience. I see you have inserted the poem to Lord Thurlow as 
Mrs. Levett sent it to you, and there can he no reason at this day for your 
not doing so. I do think Cowper acted with something like caprice to Lady 
Austen, and she was too exacting. He should not have accustomed her to 
those daily periodical visits ; or at least when he found it expedient to dis- 
continue them, he should have given her the true reason honestly, and then 
if she had six grains of good sense and consideration she would not have felt 
neglected or given any querulous expression to her feelings. But having 
taken to her so warmly, friend Cowper does seem to me to whistle her down 
the wind very coolly. Lady Hesketh was worth a thousand Lady Austens, 
though the latter was a little spoiled by French sentimentality." 


is necessary here, and there is no likelihood of any improvement 
that might render it prudent for me to be absent. We are 
thankful when the days pass quietly ; and in taking no thought 
for the morrow, on this score I often feel that sufficient for the 
day is the evil thereof. God be thanked, sufficient is the good 

The friend whom I have mentioned as resembling Cowper 

in the peculiar character of his madness is poor C L ; 

but the remark concerning the dreaminess of this state is con- 
firmed by what I now continually observe. You will understand 
me if (as I conclude) you have by this time received my second 
volume. You will not be surprised to hear that the Evangelical 
party have declared war against me, even before this volume was 
published. Neville White tells me this; he says that in a 
" Church of England Magazine " belonging to that party they 
have put forth their candid regret that I should have taken up 
such a 'subject; and he says moreover, that in his part of the 
country (Norfolk) most amusing efforts have been made to 
advance the sale of Grimshawe's edition and impede mine; 
women are the most zealous parties in this affair, and seem, 
he says, to have taken it up as a holy cause a sort of crusade. 
I wish Baldwin and Cradock may not feel the effect ; but from 
what takes place in this parish I can see that this party are 
ready to " go the whole hog " in anything. 

By way of making myself better acquainted with the middle 
of the last century, that is to say, with the state of the country, 
its manners, &c., during that time, I have been reading all the 
correspondence on which I could lay hands. Two volumes of 
Shenstone's and his friends published/ by Hull the actor, Lady 
Luxborough's Letters to Shenstone, Lady Hervey's, Mrs. Mon- 
tague's, four volumes, but which stop at the year 1760. A 
brilliant creature she must have been in her bloom, yet me- 
thinks, notwithstanding her genius and her beauty I should not 
have been in love with her. Mrs. Carter and her friend Miss 
Talbot are both more to my liking, and Beattie is a man 
much after my own heart. I wish his Memoirs had contained 
more of his letters. There is no entering upon any one line of 


reading without being led on, and feeling at every step how 
much more you ought to read in order to obtain anything like a 
satisfactory knowledge of it. 

I have a drawer full of manuscript letters to go through, 
which I got possession of a few days ago. They are all that 
remain of Mr. Powley's papers ; he married Miss Unwin ; his 
widow died about eight months ago, and the papers, upon an 
intervening death, came to a Mr. Powley, who, having been a 
linen-draper in Bond-street, has retired to his native place near 
Penrith, and from him I have obtained them. The girls have 
sorted them for me ; but as yet I have only been able to go 
through some from Mr. Haweis and from Lady Huntingdon 
for they are all in the Evangelical line, and will be of much 
more use in the " Life of Wesley " than of Cowper. Haweis 
is pretty well known for a rogue. In a letter of 1768 he says, 
" Dear Newton and Mr. Cowper have been here, precious men, 
whose company is ever a blessing." This I believe is the 
earliest mention of Cowper that I have found anywhere, except 
the acknowledgment (without his name) of his papers in the 
" Connoisseur." As for Lady Huntingdon, she writes like a 
Head of her own Church, a She Bishop or Pope Selina. I 
expect to meet with a great deal of curious and applicable 
information in this correspondence. 

There are many of Newton's letters, and these no doubt will 
help me in his Life. I am not without hope that I may find 
materials here for a sketch of the rise and progress of the Evan- 
gelical clergy to be introduced in the Life of Wesley. 

In a fortnight or three weeks at farthest I hope to finish the 
Life of Cowper. There will still be enough to do in the way of 
notes and biographical sketches, besides the lives of Mr. Newton 
and Madame Gruyon, but the brunt of the business will be over, 
and I shall forthwith resume the fourth volume of the Admirals, 
for which I am better paid than for anything which I ever wrote 
before. This volume will contain Essex, Ealeigh, Sir William 
Monson, Blake and Monk ; and then I mean to drop the bio- 
graphical form, and with one volume of naval history from the 
Eevolution to the close of the last war, or perhaps the battle of 


Algiers, conclude the work. This is an alteration which nun/ 
be made, because from that time there is less of personal adven- 
ture ; personal character becomes less conspicuous, and the events 
belong more directly to the general history of the country ; and 
it must be made, because it is very practicable to wind up in one 
volume upon this plan, whereas to proceed biographically might 
require three or four. Moreover, I escape all difficulty about 

Dear friend, God bless you. 




KESWICK, Easter Monday, April 4M, 1836. 

This has been a day taken up in advance from summer, and 
it drew me out for a walk round the lower part of Leatheswater, 
and over the three bridges at its division, a round of fourteen 
miles. Now that the pressure of business is over, I mean to 
allow myself a whole morning's walk once a- week. Davies will 
be here to-morrow or next day to accompany me, for a long 
walk usually leads me into unfrequented ways, and therefore it 
is better not to be alone. See how prudent I am in thus bear- 
ing always in mind the possibility of some accident ! 

The last proof of the third volume* was returned to-day, 
unless they should think it necessary to send me the Contents. 
At any rate you will receive it in the course of next week, and 
in the remaining portion of the Life you will find more that 
will be new to you than in the former volumes. I have done 
my best to relieve a melancholy tale ; and I am sure you will 
think I have done right in making no flourish at the end, but 

* Of Cowper. 


concluding simply with the epitaphs. What more there may 
be to say of Cowper's status in literature, and his effect upon 
his successors, will come better among the supplementary works 
of supererogation. 

I have found out that Mr.Unwin was not thought evangeli- 
cal enough by his brother-in-law Powley, Mr. Newton, and that 
party. Indeed I have been employed before breakfast upon 
Powley's papers for the last four or five weeks, and have ex- 
tracted from them a good deal which will be useful in various 
ways ; but the most remarkable [incident ?] which has come to 
my knowledge is the story of John Cowper and the fortune- 
teller, mentioned in vol. i., p. 219. The only person probably 
now living who knew all the circumstances, and certainly the 
only one who could have authenticated them, has sent me a full 
and most remarkable account of them. It is one of those re- 
lations which it is impossible not to believe, and equally im- 
possible to account for in any satisfactory manner. I shall 
insert the letter among the Biographical Sketches at the end of 
the Correspondence. 

You told me the author of The Doctor was a Scotchman.* 
But some friends of H. Taylor say that he is Dr. Bowring, a 
retired practitioner at Doncaster, which has a very likely sound 
with it. These persons know all about him. What will Black- 
wood say to this ? 

God bless you, dear Caroline. 


* In a letter of October 15th, Caroline Bowles had written: "I had 
almost forgotten, owing to my long illness, a curious observation that was 
made to me some time previous, at a dinner party. A strange gentleman 
who sat by me descanted much on the merits and demerits of ' The Doctor.' 
He was cautious of declaring his own opinion, and rather puzzled, I believe, 
as to forming any ; but, after fishing in vain for mine (I soon found he was 
not worth talking to), he assumed a more oracular tone, and informed me 
that he was certain of two points on the best authority that the author was 
a Scotchman, and a decided enemy to the Church ! I received the intima- 
tion with the most deferential meekness, and without moving a muscle; 
after that, may I not boast of command of countenance d toute epreuve ? " 



KESWICK, May 29th, 1836. 

You are right in supposing that it was a wholesome employ- 
ment for me to write the Life of Cowper; no other, I verily 
believe, could have been more so. It is not the least remarkable 
part of his case, that when he became decidedly insane on one 
point, he recovered the right use of his intellectual powers 
upon all others ; for certainly there is reason to believe that if 
he had continued in what both he and Mr. Newton considered 
his state of grace, he would never have written a verse above the 
pitch of the Olney Hymns, nor a letter which breathed any other 
feeling than that of the narrow sectarian circle within which he 
was, as it were, spell-bound. He would have been lost for ever 
to his relations and to the world. 

I wonder what sort of a reception Henry Taylor's "States- 
man" will meet with. Considered in itself, it is a very able 
and judicious treatise ; but though nothing can be written more 
inoffensively, nor in a calmer philosophic spirit, it will be worm- 
wood to some of those persons who are most likely to read it. 
Little interested as you may be in the subject, it is very well 
worth your reading, even if you were not curious enough to 
desire to see it for the writer's sake. Have you read the "Life of 
Sir Thomas Munro " ? If not, you will do well to send for it. 

The Levetts are expected on the 9th. I wish you knew 

Mr. B , who engaged their quarters for them. You would 

delight to see and hear him in the pulpit, and you would marvel 
at the simplicity of his character, which is such that Parson 
Adams was a man of the world in comparison. His wife is a 
great invalid, and being a real sufferer imputes much of her 
suffering to the spot where she happens to be fixed ; so that they 
have led a sort of migratory life for several years, Buttermere 
being the place which she has tried oftenest, and on the whole 
liked best. But owing to his utter deafness, and her state of 
health, the children have grown up like young colts; and 
the "incoherent transactions" of the whole family would fill 

Z 2 


a volume. The eldest daughter is a nice girl, about seven- 
teen, who smiles up to her eyes with good-nature ; and fears 
neither wind nor weather, man nor beast, when she is mounted 
on her pony. Her sister, about a year younger, is such a girl 
that when we had a huge caravan of wild beasts here last week 
(fourteen carriages), somebody said she would be in her place if 
she were attached to them. Poor girls ! it is very unfortunate 
for them that we cannot have them sometimes, where they 
might have learned a little needful restraint, a little needful 
prudence, and some of the ways of that class in society to 
which they belong. 

They are living now at Leatheswater, six miles from hence. 
As Mr. B drives backward and forward, he takes up any- 
one whom he finds on the road, without distinction of persons, 
clean or unclean matters not to him. 

One of the Bagots, who was with him here as a pupil, was 
the only person who could keep the younger children in any 
order ; the mother letting them make what uproar they will, 
and the father being so deaf that he could not hear the Last 
Trumpet unless his own should happen to be at hand. But 
with all his eccentricities you would be charmed with him : his 
whole heart is in his duty : he is overflowing with kindness, and 
you never saw a more cheerful and benevolent countenance. 

God bless you, dear Mend. 


RESWICK, June 12/J, 1836. 

I am looking every day for your little book,* and should be 
glad to hear that there is more in it than the single poem, if I 

* " JH* JNHUby, 4r." "From ttb date Miss C. Bowles's letters 
[with one exception] an unhappily lost. They von afl tied up together, 


were not sorry that you had curtailed that poem, of which all 
that I saw was very sweet. The Levetts arrived on Thursday, 
and seem, disposed to like everything. They have not been 
here yet ; indeed there has been no time, for I went to look for 
them on the Friday (doubting whether they would have come 
through the unceasing rain of the preceding day), and yesterday 
evening took Bertha to call on them. Kate is from home just 
now. She went on Tuesday last to Bydal, much to dear Dora's 
comfort ; and if a situation on the coast can be found to which 
it is possible for Dora to be removed, Kate will go with her. 
Fond as my daughters (I must cease to call them girls) always 
were of Dora and her mother, Miss Hutchinson's death seems to 
have drawn those cords of affection closer for in her I hardly 
know which family lost most. Wordsworth is in London, and 
talks of going to France. He is better anywhere than at home, 
where his extreme anxiety for Dora worries her. God knows 
there is but too much cause for him to be anxious ! But if he 
can be less uneasy at a distance, it is better on everybody's 
account that he should be away. 

There is so much that you will delight in, in Sir Thomas-^ 
Browne's works, that if you are not already acquainted with 
them I think you will thank me for advising you to send for 
the new edition in four volumes, published by Pickering. He 
is one of my worthies. I am sure you will agree with me 
that it would have been a sin in the Editor if he had with- 
held his wife's letters, or any of the postscripts relating to little 
Tommy. But Sir Thomas was a wise and good man, a true 
philosopher in the best sense of the word ; and if his wife is not 
to be classed as a writer with Mrs. Hutchinson, or the wife of 
Sir William Temple, or that Duchess of Newcastle who seems 
rather a creature of romance than of real life, yet, I dare say 
Sir Thomas found her a good helpmate. When the book comes 
to you, turn to page 108 in the fourth volume, and see how 
admirably he describes the feelings of threescore. 

and collected according to the year, when I was last at Buckland. My 
idea is that they were burnt (by mistake) with other papers." (Note by 
Mr. Warier). 


I have outgrown all wish for making any new acquaint- 
ances in this world ; but I have a deep desire to become 
acquainted in the next with all those whom I regard as I do 
Sir Thomas Browne. I shall know him by his likeness to 
Charles the First. 

I have put Levett in possession of the Ark, and supplied 
the ladies with books. There is something very delightful in 
that familiarity which springs up at once from school- acquaint- 
ance, after so long an interval, and when you find that the old 
man is what, from your knowledge of the boy, you had sup- 
posed him to be. 

God bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, September Wth, 1836. 

My poems are to be got into ten volumes, by close packing ; 
each of the long poems will be comprised in one volume, and 
the others compressed in the same proportion. My brother's 
advice was to begin with Joan of Arc, which has been some 
years out of print, and so let the three-deckers force a passage 
for the small craft. Wordsworth is inclined to agree with him, 
and in things of no greater moment than this I am always wil- 
ling to follow the opinion of others.* 

* In a letter of August 10th, 1836, Southey speaks of this preparation 
for a collective edition of his poems as " a step towards setting my house 
in order." " On Friday," he says, "I enter upon my sixty-third year, 
which used to be deemed the m'ost critical according to a philosophy about 
numbers, which, in the revolution of opinion, is coming into vogue again ; 
seven and nine are the critical numbers in the human constitution, and 
they meet in sixty-three ; but it has been very truly said that the age of 
nine times nine is even more critical still. That, I trust, I shall not be 
called upon to experience. 


The Levetts leave Keswick on the 27th ; they have taken 
very bad weather with very good humour. Miss Hussey has 
taken to Bertha and Kate, and they cannot help liking her 
quiet, modest, creep-mouse manner. She is learning to bind 
books in their fashion, and is a very promising apprentice, 
being remarkably clever with her hands, which is the most 
serviceable kind of cleverness. It is to be hoped she may find 
some one who will know how to appreciate her gentle, con- 
fiding, affectionate disposition. 

I think of cutting out some work, or rather of setting some 
aside, to be done in Buckland, as in 1831, so I shall just show 
Cuthbert to you, send him on to Tarring, and follow him after 
a few days. 

It is now settled that I may extend my Naval Biography to 
six volumes, and this pleases me well, though I should rather be 
employed upon the History of Portugal. A fifth volume will 
contain all the remaining lives down to the Ee volution. I may 
then more conveniently drop the biography, and resume the 
form of continuous history, because after that time individual 
character becomes less conspicuous, and naval actions are more 
connected with general politics. There is an end indeed of 
personal interest, and the interest of adventure also, for which I 
must endeavour to find compensation in clear general views. 
Concluding with the Battle of Algiers, the book will have by 
good fortune the termination possible ; because in the next war 
steam must be brought into action ; the character of naval war- 
fare must undergo a change, with which a new epoch will 
commence. It is not unlikely that this work may be worth 
correcting and improving from materials which I did not 
possess, or was not acquainted with during its progress. 

Dear Caroline, God bless you. 




BEDMINSTER, November 6th, 1836. 

Here I am, dear Caroline, on the way to the Land's End. 
Monday we made for Birmingham, and thence, six miles, to an 
old and large house called Pipe Hayes, where Mr. Egerton 
Bagot (a clergyman and a widower), the son of Cowper's 
correspondent, is living like a hermit alone. We dined with 
him that day, and remained till four o'clock on the Wednes- 
day, during which time I read over all his father's corre- 
spondence, and found enough to repay me for the days so 
spent. But we saw no other person while we were there, such 
is the solitary life that he appears to lead. Thursday we went 
from Birmingham to Bristol, and here we are in the house of 
my old friend and early publisher Joseph Cottle, the simplest 
and kindest-hearted of men. 

Alas ! I have work to do which I could not get through at 

This morning I am going to the church which I used to 
frequent with my grandmother, and have never entered since 
the year 1782. 

The seat into which the sextoness introduced me (for the 
Cottles are dissenters) was exactly opposite the spot on which 
my grandmother's pew had stood. That I perfectly remem- 
bered, and recollected an old monument above it ; but the 
whole inside of the church has been fitted up some ten or 
twenty years ago. Still it was the same church, externally 
unchanged, and the same hills were seen through the same 
windows ; and perhaps nay, probably even of all the persons 
who had been present in that church when I was last in it, 
fifty-four years ago, I may have been the only survivor. 

There have been times, and are, dear friend, when I feel 
like Eleemon, as if the fountain of tears were dry ; as if my 
eyes had been seared, and my heart had been so often and so 


long upon the anvil that it had been rendered insensible. But 
to-day it was with great difficulty that I could so far command 
myself as not to let my emotions be seen. 

After church we walked to Bristol, where I left a card with 
your kinsman of unhappy name. He was not returned from 
church. I shall accept no invitation, except to breakfast, during 
my stay here, because we are a mile and a half from the town, 
and because my evenings will be required for work. Cuthbert 
is very much pleased with Bristol, which Landor (who is here) 
agrees with me in thinking beyond all comparison the most 
interesting and beautiful city in England. I have shown him 
a great deal already, and shall show him to-morrow my grand- 
mother's house and the garden which was my Garden of 
Eden where some of the fruit-trees which my grandfather had 
planted were standing when I was there in 1831. Tuesday, if 
weather be favourable, I shall take him to look at my old school 
at Corston. 

We go on Saturday next to visit Bowles, then to Taunton, 
where my good aunt is ready and waiting for her release, at a 
great age. The hope of seeing her once more in this world has 
been one of the inducements to this journey, for she was as fond 
of Cuthbert when he was two years old as she had been of me 
when I was of the same age. We then go down the north 
coast to Derwent Coleridge, at the Land's End, and up the 
south, making sundry halts upon the way. Christmas I expect 
to pass with my old friend Lightf oot, near Crediton, and New 
Year's Day most probably with you. The resolution with 
which I left home was not to hurry myself upon this circuit, 
but to see as much as we could upon the way, and not to regard 
a week or two of time, or a little additional expense, upon a 
journey which (in its full extent) I am never likely to repeat, 
and which Cuthbert will always remember. 

My accounts from home could not be more favourable. My 
first letter produced an expression of some interest in its con- 
tents ; my absence occasions no uneasiness, and my return will, 
I dare say, be looked for with as much pleasure as my poor 
Edith is now capable of finding in anything. For myself, I 


shall be the better for this journey, shall lay up much for 
remembrance and for use, and be heartily glad to find myself 
once more at rest in my appointed course of duty. 

God bless you, dear, dear friend. 



KESWICK, February 23rd, 1837. 

On Tuesday I sent off a short preface to Cowper's Homer, 
reserving my remarks upon that translation for the Cowperiana, 
of which there are to be two volumes : one relating to him, his 
family, and his literary friends, the other containing the lives of 
Mr. Newton and Madam Gruyon. Your communications from 
Mr. F. Eoss were of signal use. I obtained from Inglis a sight 
of the sealed letter. How little are men's memories to be 
trusted upon points of which they have no cause to take partt- 
cular notice at the time ! The letter was not from Newton to 
Mr. Thornton, but from Thornton to him ; and the facts of the 
disappearance, the tracing of the lost person to France, and the 
supposed cause of his thus absconding, relate to the other 
William Cowper, as clearly ascertained by the date. What then 
becomes of all the collateral traditional evidence respecting my 
Cowper's real or supposed malformation ? Have the two name- 
sakes been confounded, like the two Dromios and their two 
masters in the Comedy of Errors ? Or did my Cowper apply 
to himself what was reported of his kinsman, and engraft this 
miserable imagination upon his other delusions ? 

All that I have done since my return has been to write 
letters, and I am still far from seeing the end of this occupation, 
so many which reached me during my travels, or awaited me 
here, remain yet unanswered. Except this, I have merely 


begun to revise Joan of Arc, correcting the diction wherever it 
can be done without more cost of time than it is worth. Long- 
man wishes to get three or four volumes through the press 
before the monthly publication commences, which will be a 
month after that of Cowper is completed ; if, as I suppose, there 
should be a (supplementary) 15th volume of Cowper, containing 
the yet remaining letters and the translation of the Henriade, 
we shall begin with the month of August. 

Friday, 24th. To-day I have seen the sun for the first time 
since my return. The weather continues piercingly cold ; but 
I made the most of the sunshine, and took a dutiful walk to the 
Druidical Arch. You have received, I hope, the fourth volume 
of Admirals (which has marvellously little to do with sea service), 
and the tenth of Cowper. I delight in the prospect of supply- 
ing you with a monthly volume for many months to come; and 
every little improvement that I make in the process of revision 
gives me the more pleasure, because I know that in some 
instances you will observe it, and that in others it removes some- 
thing which you would, might, or ought to have felt amiss. 

And now, dear friend, (rod bless you. Let me hear that 
you are are gaining strength. I would send Dash a most 
friendly greeting if he could understand it.* Once more, fare- 


* Miss Bowles had written after Southey's departure from Buckland : 
" Sorely and sadly I have missed you, and shall miss you until that feeling 
of deprivation softens into one of grateful and pleasant retrospection, such 
as I have learnt to live upon and he thankful. I will not agree with you 
that it may he better never to meet than only meet to part. The next 
pleasure I shall have will he to hear you are in haven again, and that your 
return home and the welcome of your dear daughters has been as little sad- 
dened as possible under the cloud with which it pleases God still to over- 
shadow you. I must tell you that Dashie has felt your departure very 
sensibly : I found him the next day scratching at your bedroom door ; and 
when my solitary dinner was brought up to me on the tray, he rushed down 
again and bounced open the bedroom door, barking with all his might to call 
you to partake." 




KESWICK, Easter Monday, 1837. 

I sent a dose of cooling admonition to the poor girl* whose*-" 
flighty letter reached me at Buckland. It was well taken, and 
she thanked me for it. It seems she is the eldest daughter of a 
clergyman, has been expensively educated, and is laudably em- 
ployed as a governess in some private family. About the same 
time that she wrote to me, her brother wrote to Wordsworth, 
who was disgusted with the letter, for it contained gross flattery 
to him, and plenty of abuse of other poets, including me. I 
think well of the sister from her second letter, and probably she 
will think kindly of me as long as she lives. 

The revision of Joan of Arc is finished, and were you to see 
the corrected copy you would certainly admire my resolution, 
and, perhaps, my workmanship also. I have made some pro- 
gress in the general preface, and have another to write for this 
poem. Except in prefatory matter to the long poems, there will 
be little other trouble with the rest of the volumes than that of 
correcting the proof sheets, the alterations being merely verbal 
or metrical improvements, many, indeed most of them, made 
long ago. But among the minor poems you will find many 
which have not before been collected. 

Your Irvingite pamphlets have told me a great deal which I 
had never heard of before, and which is well worth knowing. 
Shall we ever see any great effect produced by delusion and im- 
posture of this kind, as in former times ? It would be rash to 
say no too positively, and I shall note it down as a question to 
be discussed in colloquy. The failure of the St.-Simonians does 
not prove it to be impossible ; they were much too reasonable in 
some of their political views, and much too profligate in their 
conduct. Strict morals and extravagant doctrines would have 

* Charlotte Bronte. 


succeeded better. It is neither by one nor the other that our 
dissenters increase wherever they are increasing ; their per- 
suasion is their party, and worldly convenience is in every sect 
the bond of union. 

God bless you, dear friend. 



KESWICK, June 26<A, 1837. 

I have learned to look, if not with complacency, at least with 
great composure, upon the progress of political events not as 
being indifferent to the course which they may take, but in a 
quiet confidence that all things will be better ordered for us than 
we could order them for ourselves. The young Queen's beha- 
viour at her Proclamation was so natural, and so much what one 
would have wished it to be, that I shall endeavour to make 
some use of it, as soon as I can determine in what form to em- 
body what I have to say. At present I incline to prefer that 
kind of lyric unrhymed verse in which most of my ex-qfficio odes 
have been written. The strain will be hopeful and consolatory, 
showing her that her task is not difficult, that her paths may well 
be those of pleasantness and peace, and introducing some whole- 
some hints respecting the Poor Laws and the factory-children, 
to tell her what the reforms are of which the nation stands in 
need, and cheer her with an assurance that the heart of England 
will be with her, and the Lord the strength of her salvation. 

What you lose in all translations of Homer is the beauty o 
the style, which, with the simplicity of the old ballad, has the 
advantage of the most harmonious language in the world, and 
the finest metre a strain of verse which always satisfies and 
delights the ear. No translation can either represent this or 
afford any compensation for it. The Greek tragedies are not in 


the same manner injured by translation, because neither their 
tragic metre nor their lyrical verse is better than our own. 

Homer is still a mystery. I am inclined to agree with those 
critics who suppose that the Iliad is a Macphersonized collection 
of genuine Ossianic poems, not the work of one man ; that the 
form in which we have it was given it in the time of Pisistratus, 
and that the language, like that of all poems which have been 
orally transmitted, had undergone a gradual modernisation, so as 
to be that of the age in which the fragments were thus embodied. 
The people to whom the poem relates seem to have been as 
nearly as possible in the same stage of barbarism or civilization 
(call it which you will) as the South Sea Islanders when the 
missionaries became acquainted with them. I like such people 
as little as you do; but magnanimity and matured affec- 
tions are found in all stages of society, except where men are 
thoroughly corrupted in the rottenness of civilization, or where 
they are embruted by living on the limits of the living world, 
and so case-hardened by what they are exposed to as to be de- 
prived of half their feelings. I am sure that there are passages 
in Homer which have brought tears into your eyes. What can 
be more truly heroic than Hector ? "What more touching than 
Andromache and old Priam ? and how generous is their treat- 
ment of Helen ! A volume of letters will follow the Odyssey, 
and complete the works. The Cowperiana must be at my con- 
venience ; but the first volume of my poems will be ready for 
you the month after Cowper is completed. 

Bertha has counted the books lately they amount to more 
than 12,500. Storage could not be found for more than another 
500, so you see there must soon of necessity be a stop put to their 
increase. The review of Mrs. Bray's book has been a mill-stone 
about my neck, and I am not yet rid of it, but expect to be so 
soon. What I have made most way with has been Bell's Life. 

June 28th. I must now make up the haughtygraffs which I 
have just written, and, as I now perceive, mis-dated. Ask me 
without scruple whenever you wish for another such packet. A 
wholesome text is the most useful thing I can write on such 
occasions, and it is always at hand, and in this shape they go 


conveniently in a letter. Cuthbert and his sister desire their 
kindest regards. I shall be with you once a-month in print for 
the next twelve months, and perhaps in person again before the 
end of that time. 

Dear friend, God bless you. 



KESWICK, July 23rd, 1837. 

That you should like Cottle's book, dear Caroline, is as im- 
possible as it would be for you to dislike Cottle himself, if you 
knew him as I know him ; but unless you knew him thus 
thoroughly, you could not believe that such simple-heartedness 
and such inordinate vanity were to be found in the same person. 
One thing he has made me fully sensible of, and that is, how 
liable the most cautious biographer is to be misled by what 
should seem to be the most trustworthy documents. Such a 
confusion of times and circumstances as he has made in his 
Recollections I never met with in any other book ; and for this 
reason, no doubt, that my own knowledge could never in any 
other instance enable me to detect k. 

Wordsworth and I have always dreaded the indiscretion of 
Coleridge's admirers, and the exposure of his character which 
was certain to ensue. Cottle has withheld a good deal, upon his 
own sense of propriety, little scrupulous as he may seem to have 
been ; and he has struck out more at my desire ; and yet the 
impression which his book leaves is just what you describe upon 
all those who feel that intellectual strength affords no excuse 
for the disregard of moral obligation. 

Charles Lamb's letters have just reached me. If the whole 
story could have been told, this would have been one of the most 
painfully interesting books that ever came from the press. When 


I saw Talfourd in January last, lie seemed fully aware how 
much better it would have been to have delayed the publication 
for some years. But in this age, when a person of any notoriety 
dies, they lose as little time in making a book of him as they 
used to do in making a mummy. To be sure, there are some 
reputations which will not keep, and must therefore be brought 
to market while they are fresh. But poor Lamb's is not of thai 
kind. His memory will retain its fragrance as long as the best 
spice that ever was expended upon one of the Pharaohs. 

You may well suppose that all these recent publications, in 
which there is so much concerning myself, bring with them to 
me anything but what is cheering. 

August 12. To-day I send off the advertisement, &c., to 
the concluding volume of Cowper's works. The edition is now 
complete. But to complete my purpose there must be two 
volumes of Cowperiana, which you will have in due time. It 
is a great thing to have this off my hands. 

Dear friend, Gk>d bless you. 



KESWICK, November 2Qth, 1837. 

Winter has begun with us unusually early, and it is as cold 
now as in the ordinary course of the seasons it is at Christmas. 
This, however, is better than the heavy storms of wind and rain 
which preceded this frost, and rendered it impossible for Bertha 
and Kate to get out of doors. Yesterday was the first day that 
they could walk out. Their health, thank Grod, has not suffered, 
and at their time of life their spirits, in the wise order of nature, 
have a tendency to recover their healthy tone.* For myself, 

* Mrs. Southey died on November 16th, 1837. 


truly and deeply thankful as I ought to be and am, for a 
deliverance which has long been to be desired, I continually 
feel the separation. I never felt wholly like myself anywhere 
but at home, and the change is so great that I now no longer 
feel like myself there. This, however, will be the best place for 
me for some time to come, so that if it were convenient for me 
in other respects to move, I should deem it advisable to let some 
months elapse before I commenced a journey, 

December, 1. By this time you will have received my second 
volume. The building in the frontispiece is the same as in the 
vignette title-page another view of the school. I took Cuth- 
bert there last year ; the day unluckily proved wet, so that we 
could not walk over the precincts as I had intended, but we 
obtained admission into the house, now in a wofully dilapidated 
state, being half inhabited as a farm-house. 

Your Bristol kinsman has written to me about a monument 
to Chatterton, and an inscription for it. I have not replied to 
his letter : indeed it came at a time when it could not be replied 
to. But my intention is neither to subscribe to a monument, 
nor write an inscription for it. Poets require no monuments 
to keep their memory alive if it deserves to live. And I 
not undertake as a school- task, or rather imposition, what never 
could be done well unless it were done from the spontaneous 
and warm impulse of good will. I did my part for Chatterton 
when I made the first collection of his works, and published 
them for the benefit of his sister. 

The preface to Joan of Arc has brought me a very pleasing 
letter from one who says it was his " allotted task at the age of 
fifteen, and even then a very little boy, to set up, in the new 
great primer type, had expressely for the purpose, the first page 
of the first edition of Joan of Arc. But what prompts the pride 
(he says) with which I have ever cherished the remembrance of 
this event is the vivid recollection that I did it in your im- 
mediate presence. The entire scene is fresh before my mind's 
eye at this moment my priggish, powdered master, Mr. Bosses, 
standing with your juvenile self near the stove in the centre of 
the large office, and I, blushing under the honours of my ap- 

2 A 


pointed task, and strongly do I retain the remembrance of the 
feeling nearly allied to envy with which I eyed the slender 
youth who stood near me, the author of a quarto volume of 
poetry." The whole letter may very fitly be made use of in 
the posthumous edition of my works. In the present both 
prudence and propriety require that I should say no more of 
myself than belongs to the design of the prefaces. But gar- 
nish of this kind will be very serviceable hereafter. 

The writer of this letter is now rector of Athelington and 
vicar of Cretingham, Suffolk. His name is Bichard Brudenell 
Exton. He has sent me some local and political satire in 
Spenserian verse, with a good deal of cleverness, and "A 
Discourse delivered at the 16th Anniversary of the Framling- 
ham District Committee of the Society for Promoting Christian 
Knowledge, in the Parish Church of Framlingham, September 
17, 1832." I have transcribed the whole title for you because 
this sermon is actually in blank verse. Bub your eyes if you 
will, as well you may. In blank verse he composed this sermon, 
and in blank verse he preached it, and I wish you and I had 
been there to hear it. I am sorry to say the verse is very bad ; 
indeed he does not seem to know what blank verse is, though 
some of his Spenserian stanzas show both ability and skill. 

Tell me how you bear these frequent changes of weather. I 
have increased my daily dose of exercise, and am looking in 
hope to the lengthening of the days, when daylight will allow 
me to rise earlier. 

God bless you, dear friend. 




KESWICK, January 21st, 1838. 

I got "Warner's Recollections for a few shillings from or 
catalogue lately ; you know I looked at it at Buckland. How 


much better it is in every respect than any other of his books 
that have fallen in my way. But it is hardly possible that 
anyone should not write agreeably when relating his own recol- 
lections of early life. Even with all allowances for vanity and 
self-deceit, the truest of all history is what we thus draw from 

Many of the persons whom Warner mentions I knew some- 
thing of, both of his Christ Church acquaintances and his Bath 
ones. What a tremendous change has taken place in the 
general character of society within his memory and mine, 
though I suppose him to be nearly ten years my senior. And 
as if the old mail coach rate of eight miles an hour was 
not fast enough for the march of civilization, the devil has 
been raised in the shape of steam to impel us at his own 
pace. You remember the proverb "Needs must go when he 
drives." One of the worst things attending this revolution 
in public travelling is, it leaves you no choice. At this 
time there is only one coach, which runs from Manchester 
to London. The Birmingham Railway has already produced 
this effect, and an utter recklessness to the convenience and 
safety of the passengers is one consequence of the monopoly 
which has thus been gained. The confusion when the luggage 
of a whole train is thrown down at the end of its course is said 
to exceed anything one has ever seen of this kind. As to 
personal safety, there must be less danger than in an over- 
loaded coach, and there is also less fatigue in the motion itself, 
to say nothing of the great saving in that respect by going 
twenty miles an hour, instead of eight. But, after all, slow and 
sure would be more to my liking. My pleasantest, or I might 
better say happiest, travels have been either at a mule's foot- 
pace, or with a knapsack on my own shoulders. 

The Longmans' account of the poems to my brother is, that 
they are selling " very fairly." The impression of 1500, they 
say, will just about cover the expenses, leaving profit to be 
derived from the future use of the stereotypes and engravings. 
The profit upon any additional 500 would be considerable ; but 
I suppose that not many sets will be called for after the 

2 A 2 


monthly publication is completed ; there will be more demand 
for single volumes, or portions. What an abomination is the 
engraving of Keswick in the third volume! I never saw any- 
thing woise. 

God bless you, dear friend. 






March 1th, 1816. 

I cannot refrain from presenting you with a little poem,f the 
product of a few serene hours of the last beautiful autumn. I shall 
never forget the pleasure which I derived from your conversation, or 
the kindness with which I was received in your hospitable circle 
during the short period of my stay in Cumberland some years ago. 
The disappointment of some youthful hopes, and subsequent mis- 
fortunes of a heavier nature, are all that I can plead as my excuse for 
neglecting to write to you, as I had promised, from Ireland. The 
true weight of this apology you cannot know. Let it be sufficient 
that, regarding you with admiration as a poet, and with respect as 
a man, I send you, as an intimation of those sentiments, my first 
serious attempt to interest the best feelings of the human heart, 
believing that you have so much general charity as to forget, like 
me, how widely in moral and political opinions we disagree, and to 
attribute that difference to better motives than the multitude are 
disposed to allege as the cause of dissent from their institutions. 

Very sincerely yours, 


* See Introduction, and p. 76 of Correspondence. f i.e. Alastor. 




PISA, June 2Gth, 1820. 

Some friends of mine persist in affirming that you are the 
author of a criticism which appeared some time since in the Quarterly 
Review on the " Revolt of Islam." 

I know nothing that would give me more sincere pleasure than to- 
be able to affirm from your own assurance that you were not guilty of 
that writing. I confess I see such strong internal evidence against 
the charge, without reference to what I think I know of the generous 
sensibility of your character, that had my own conviction only been 
concerned, I should never have troubled you to deny what I firmly 
believe you would have spurned to do. 

Our short personal intercourse has always been remembered by me 
with pleasure ; and when I recalled the enthusiasm with which I then 
considered your writings, with gratitude for your notice, we parted, I 
think, with feelings of mutual kindness. The article in question, 
except in reference to the possibility of its having been written by 
you, is not worth a moment's attention. 

That an unprincipled hireling, in default of what to answer in a 
published composition, should, without provocation, insult over the 
domestic calamities of a writer of the adverse party to which perhaps 
their victim dares scarcely advert in thought that he should make 
those calamities the theme of the foulest and the falsest slander that 
all this should be done by a calumniator without a name with the 
cowardice, no less than the malignity, of an assassin is too common 
a piece of charity among Christians (Christ would have taught them 
better), too common a violation of what is due from man to man among 
the pretended friends of social order, to have drawn one remark from 
me, but that I would have you observe the arts practised by that 
party for which you have abandoned the cause to which your early 
writings were devoted. I had intended to have called on you, for the 
purpose s of saying what I now write, on my return to England ; but 
the wretched state of my health detains me here, and I fear leaves my 
enemy, were he such as I could deign to contend with, an easy, but a 
base victory, for I do not profess paper warfare. But there is a time 
for all things. 


I regret to say that I shall consider your neglecting to answer this 
letter a substantiation of the fact which it is intended to settle and 
therefore I shall assuredly hear from you. 

Dear sir, accept the best wishes of 

Yours truly. 





You have done me justice in believing that I am not the 
author of the criticism in the Quarterly Review upon the "Revolt of 
Islam." I have never in any of my writings mentioned your name, 
or alluded to you even in the remotest hint, either as a man, or as 
an author. Except the " Alastor " which you sent me, I have never 
read or seen any of your publications since you were at Keswick. 
The specimens which I happen to have seen in Reviews and News- 
papers have confirmed my opinion that your powers for poetry are 
of a high order, but the manner in which those powers have been 
employed is such as to prevent me from feeling any desire to see 
more of productions so monstrous in their kind, and so pernicious vo 
their tendency. You perceive, sir, that I speak as I think, and 
therefore you will not ascribe my ready and direct denial of the 
criticism to the sort of menace which your note conveys, nor under- 
stand it as acknowledging in any man a right to call upon me for 
such a denial, upon no better grounds than a mere suspicion which 
he or his friends may choose to entertain. Those friends of yours 
who have persisted in affirming that I am the author can have had 
no other ground. They have committed the gross impropriety of 
affirming positively what they could not possibly know to be true, 
and what happens to be absolutely false. 

I reply to you, sir, because I cannot think of you without the 
deepest compassion. Eight years ago you were somewhat displeased 
when I declined disputing with you upon points which are beyond 
the reach of the human intellect telling you that the great differ- 
ence between us was, that you were then nineteen and I was eight- 


and- thirty. "Would that the difference were no greater now ! You 
wrote to me when you sent me your " Alastor," that as you tolerated 
my opinions, you supposed I should tolerate yours. Few persons are 
less intolerant than myself, by disposition as well as by principle, but 
I cannot admit that any such reciprocity is justly to be claimed. 
Opinions are to be judged by their effects and what has been the 
fruit of yours? Do they enable you to look backward with com- 
placency or forward with hope ? Have you found in them a rule of 
life conducive either to your own happiness, or to that of those who 
were most nearly and dearly connected with you ? Or rather, have 
they not brought immediate misery upon others, and guilt, which is 
all but irremediable, on yourself ? 

The tone of your letter gives me a right to address you thus ; and 
there is one passage in it which induces a hope that I may not be 
addressing you in vain, for it appears that deadly as your principles^" 
have proved, they have not yet wholly hardened your heart. Attend, 
I beseech you, to its warnings. Do not let any feeling of pride with- 
hold you from acknowledging to yourself how grievously and fatally 
you have erred. You rejected Christianity before you knew before 
you could possibly have known upon what evidence it rests. How 
utterly unlike in this, and in every other respect to the superstitions 
and fables of men's devices, with which you in your presumptuousness 
have classed it. Look to that evidence while you are yet existing in 
Time, and you may yet live to bless God for any visitation of sickness 
and suffering which, by bringing you to a sense of your miserable con- 
dition, may enable you to hope for forgiveness, and teach you where 
to look for it. God in his infinite mercy bring you to this better 
mind ! 

This is not the language of party animosity, nor of personal ill- 
will. Of the latter you will at once acquit me ; and if you do not 
acquit me as readily of the former, it is because you do not know me 
enough, and are too much under its influence yourself. 

I can think of you only as of an individual whom I have known, 
and of whom I had once entertained high hopes admiring his talents 
giving him credit for good feelings and virtuous desires and whom 
I now regard not more with condemnation than with pity. 

JBelieve me, therefore, to be your sincere well-wisher, 





PISA, August 17<A, 1820. 

Allow me to acknowledge the sincere pleasure which I received 
from the first paragraph of your letter. The disavowal it contained 
was just such as I firmly anticipated. 

Allow me also to assure you, that no menace implied in my letter 
could have the remotest application to yourself. I am not indeed aware 
that it contained any menace. I recollect expressing what contempt I 
felt, in the hope that you might meet the wretched hireling who has so 
closely imitated your style as to deceive all but those who knew you 
into a belief that he was you, at Murray's, or somewhere, and that 
you would inflict my letter on him, as a recompense for sowing ill- 
will between those who wish each other all good, as you and I do. 

I confess your recommendation to adopt the system of ideas you 
call Christianity has little weight with me, whether you mean 
the popular superstition in all its articles, or some more refined 
theory with respect to those events and opinions which put an end 
to the graceful religion of the Greeks. To judge of the doctrines by 
their effects, one would think that this religion were called the reli- 
gion of Christ and Charity, ut lucus a non lucendo, when I consider the 
manner in which they seem to have transformed the disposition and 
understanding of you and men of the most amiable manners and the 
highest accomplishments, so that even when recommending Christianity 
you cannot forbear breathing out defiance, against the express words of 
Christ. What would you have me think ? You accuse me, on what 
evidence I cannot guess, of guilt a bald word, sir, this, and one 
which would have required me to write to you in another tone, had 
you addressed it to any one except myself. Instead, therefore, of re- 
fraining from "judging that you be not judged," you not only judge 
but condemn, and that to a punishment which its victim must be 
either among the meanest or the loftiest not to regard as bitterer 
than death. But you are such a pure one as Jesus Christ found 
not in all Judea to throw the first stone against the woman taken 
in adultery ! 

"With what care do the most tyrannical Courts of Judicature weigh 


evidence, and surround the accused with protecting forms ; with what 
reluctance do they pronounce their cruel and presumptuous decisions 
compared with you ! You select a single passage out of a life other- 
wise not only spotless but spent in an impassioned pursuit of virtue, 
which looks like a blot, merely because I regulated my domestic 
arrangements without deferring to the notions of the vulgar, although 
I might have done so quite as conveniently had I descended to their 
base thoughts this you call guilt. I might answer you in another 
manner, but I take God to witness, if such a Being is now regarding 
both you and me, and I pledge myself if we meet, as perhaps you 
expect, before Him after death, to repeat the same in His presence 
that you accuse me wrongfully. I am innocent of ill, either done or 
intended ; the consequences you allude to flowed in no respect from 
me. If you were my friend, I could tell you a history that would 
make you open your eyes; but I shall certainly never make the 
public my familiar confidant. 

You say you judge of opinions by the fruits ; so do I, but by their 
remote and permanent fruits such fruits of rash judgment as Christ- 
ianity seems to have produced in you. The immediate fruits of all 
new opinions are indeed calamity to the promulgators and professors ; 
but we see the end of nothing, and it is in acting well, in contempt 
of present advantage, that virtue consists. 

I need not to be instructed that the opinion of the ruling party 
to which you have attached yourself always exacts, contumeliously 
receives, and never reciprocates, toleration. " But there is a tide 
in the affairs of men" it is rising while we speak. 

Another specimen of your Christianity is the judgment you form 
of the spirit of my verses, from the abuse of the Reviews. I have 
desired Mr. Oilier to send you those last published ; they may amuse 
you, for one of them indeed neither have anything to do with those 
speculations on which we differ. 

I cannot hope that you will be candid enough to feel, or if you 
feel, to own, that you have done ill in accusing, even in your mind, 
an innocent and a persecuted man, whose only real offence is the 
holding opinions something similar to those which you once held 
respecting the existing state of society. Without this, further cor- 
respondence, the object for which I renewed it being once obtained, 
must, from the differences in our judgment, be irksome and useless. 
I hope some day to meet you in London, and ten minutes' conver- 
sation is worth ten folios of writing. Meanwhile assure yourself that, 


among all your good wishers, you have none who wish you better 
than, dear sir, 

Your very faithful and obedient Servant, 


P. S. I ought not to omit that I have had sickness enough, and 
that at this moment I have so severe a pain in the side that I can 
hardly write. All this is of no account in the favour of what you, or 
anyone else, calls Christianity ; surely it would be better to wish me 
health and healthful sensations. / hope the chickens will not come 
home to roost !* 


Yesterday, sir, I received your present of the Cenci and the Pro- 
metheus. I thank you for these books, and little as the time is which 
I can allow for correspondence of any kind, I think it proper to 
[reply to ?] your letter of August 29th, f which announced them. 

You tell me that I have selected out of a life " otherwise not 
only spotless, but spent in the impassioned pursuit of virtue, a single 
passage which looks like a blot, merely because you regulated your 
domestic arrangements without reference to the notions of the vul- 
gar," and you accuse me of passing a rash and unjust judgment. Let 
us look to the case I will state it with no uncharitable spirit, and 
with no unfriendly purpose. 

When you were a mere youth at College you took up atheistical 
opinions you endeavoured to make proselytes to these opinions in a 
girls' boarding-school. One of the girls was expelled for the zeal with 
which she entered into your views, and you made her the most hon- 
ourable amends in your power by marrying her. Shortly afterwards 
you came to Keswick. There was no appearance, when I saw you, 
that your principles had injured your heart. As yet you had had no 
proof of this tendency in yourself, but you had seen a memorable one 

* In reference to the motto of "The Curse of Kehama" "Curses are 
like young chickens, they always come home to roost." 

f Probably an error in Caroline Bowles's transcript: query August llth. 


in the conduct of your first speculation (speculative?) and literary 
associate, who accompanied you to Scotland on your matrimonial 
expedition, and on your way back would have seduced your wife. 
This I had from your own lips: your feelings at that time were 
humane and generous, and your intentions good. I felt a greater 
interest in your welfare than I expressed to you, and took such 
indirect means as were in my power of assuring your father that, 
erroneous as your conduct was, it was still to be expected that your"' 
heart would bring you right, and that everything might be hoped 
from your genius and your virtues. 

Such was my opinion of you when we parted. "What I heard of 
your subsequent conduct tended always to lower it, except as regarded 
your talents. At length you forsook your wife, because you were tired 
of her, and had found another woman more suited to your taste. You 
could tell me a history, you say, which would make me open my eyes : 
perhaps they are already open. It is a matter of public notoriety that 
your wife destroyed herself. Knowing in what manner she bore your 
desertion, I never attributed this to her sensibility on that score. I 
have heard it otherwise explained : I have heard that she followed your 
example as faithfully as your lessons, and that the catastrophe was 
produced by shame. Be this as it may, ask your own heart, whether 
you have not been the whole, sole, and direct cause of her destruc- 
tion. You corrupted her opinions ; you robbed her of her moral and 
religious principles ; you debauched her mind. But for you and your 
lessons she might have gone through the world innocently and happily. 

I will do you justice, sir. "While you were at Keswick you told 
your bride that you regarded marriage as a mere ceremony, and would 
live with her no longer than you liked her. I dare say you told her 
this before the ceremony, and that you persuaded her that there was 
nothing sacred in the tie. But that she should have considered this 
as the condition upon which she was married, or that you yourself at 
that time looked forward to a breach of the connexion, I do not believe. 
I think still too well of your original nature to believe it. She trusted 
to your heart, not your opinions. She relied upon your generosity, 
your affection, your tenderness, your first love. The, wife of your 
youth might well rely upon these, and with the more confidence when 
she became the mother of your first children. 

No, sir, you were not depraved enough to think you could ever 
desert her when you talked of it as a possible event ; and if you had 
not tampered with your own heart with speculations upon such possi- 


bilities, and contemplating them as lawful and allowable, her confi- 
dence in you could not have been deceived. That sophistry which 
endeavours to confound the plain broad distinction between right 
and wrong can never be employed innocently or with impunity. 
Some men are wicked by disposition, others become so in their weak- 
ness, yielding to temptation ; but you have corrupted in yourself air" 
excellent nature. You have sought for temptation and courted it ; 
and have reasoned yourself into a state of mind so pernicious that 
your character, with your domestic arrangements, as you term it, 
might furnish a subject for the drama more instructive, and scarcely 
less painful, than the detestable story of the Cenci, and this has pro- 
ceeded directly from your principles.* It is the Atheist's Tragedy. 
You might have regulated your domestic arrangements, you say, 
quite as conveniently to yourself if you had descended to the base 
thoughts of the vulgar. I suppose this means that you might have 
annulled your marriage as having been contracted during your 
minority. You say that your only real crime is the holding opi- 
nions something similar to those which I once held respecting the ex- 
isting state of society. That, sir, is not your crime, it would only be 
your error ; your offence is moral as well as political, practical as well 
as speculative. ]S"or were my opinions ever similar to yours in any 
other point than that, desiring, as I still desire, a greater equality ire' 
the condition of men, I entertained erroneous notions concerning the 
nature of that improvement in society, and the means whereby it 
was to be promoted. Except in this light, light and darkness are not 
more opposite than my youthful opinions and yours. You would have 
found me as strongly opposed in my youth to Atheism and immorality 
of any kind as I am now, and to that abominable philosophy whiclr' 
teaches self-indulgence instead of self-control. 

The Christianity which I recommended to your consideration is 
to be found in the Scriptures and in the Book of Common Prayer. I 
would fain have had you to believe that there is judgment after death, 
and to learn, and understand, and feel all sins may be forgiven through 
the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ. You mistake my meaning 
when you suppose that I wished you to be afflicted with bodily suf- 
fering : but I repeat, that any affliction which might bring you to a 
better mind would be a dispensation of mercy. And here, sir, our 

* Two words in the attempted Greek characters of Caroline Bowles are 
here indecipherable. 


correspondence must end. I never should have sought it ; but having 
"been led into it, it appeared to me a duty to take that opportunity of 
representing you to yourself as you appear to me, with little hope in- 
deed of producing any good effect, and yet not altogether hopeless ; f or 
though you may go on with an unawakened mind, a seared conscience, 
and a hardened heart, there will be seasons of misgivings, when that 
most sacred faculty which you have laboured to destroy makes itself 
felt. At such times you may remember me as an earnest monitor 
whom you cannot suspect of ill-will, and whom it is not in your 
power to despise, however much you may wish to repel his admoni- 
tions with contempt. 

Believe me, sir, your sincere well-wisher, 



November 7th, 1804. A certain king had a precious cup, giftee 
with some magical property, of such exceeding value that he suffered 
no person to see it, its loss would have been so great an evil. A model, 
however, was in his daughter's keeping, and by winning her love he 
who coveted the original obtained sight of this, which was doing 
much, for though the real cup could not be stolen nor won by any 
unworthy means (such was the spell), it was attainable by intensity 
of desire and fixedness of mind, as the Fakeers obtain beatitude, and 
Mainanduc pretended to heal diseases at a distance. Thus far had I 
got in the dream when the child awoke me. I was sensible that it 
was a fairy tale, and yet the story seemed to be acting before me. 

About ten days ago a very valuable dream which I had has in- 
duced me to commence this record. I was haunted by evil spirits, of 
whose presence, though unseen, I was aware. There were also dead 
bodies near me, though I saw them not. Terrified as I was, far 
beyond any fear that I ever experienced in actual life, still I reasoned 
and insisted to myself that all was delirium and weakness of mind, 
and even sent away the person who I thought was present with me, 
that 1 might be left alone to exert myself. "When alone the actual 

* See p. 110 of this volume. 


presence of the tormentors was more certain, and my horrors in- 
creased, till at length an arm appeared through the half-opened door, 
or rather a long hand. Determined to convince myself that all was 
unsubstantial and visionary, though I saw it most distinctly, I ran 
up and caught it. It was a hand, and a lifeless one. I pulled at it 
with desperate effort, dragged in a sort of shapeless body into the 
room, trampled upon it, crying out aloud the while for horror. The 
extreme efforts I made to call for help succeeded so far as to awake 
Edith, who immediately delivered me from the most violent fear that 
ever possessed me. 

This is a valuable dream, for an old monk would have believed all 
to have been verily what it appeared, and I now perfectly understand 
by experience what their contests with the devil were. 

November 8th. I was in Bonaparte's palace, where some sort of 
contest was taking place between him and Sir Sidney Smith, who 
came to me for a knife to cut something which prevented him from 
drawing his sword. Bonaparte struck me ; I had an axe in my hand ; 
he saw that I was half inclined to cut him down, and attempted to 
kill me. I struck him with the axe, and brought him down, and 
dragged him out into a public hall, not being yet dead, and there 
beheaded him. This is the first time I ever killed him in self-defence, 
though I have more than once done it upon the pure principle of 

November 16th. I saw my mother, and kissed her, and wept 
upon her. This often occurs in my dreams. I never see her without 
sorrow, the feeling which predominates whenever I think of her still 
remaining, even when death is forgotten, and her perfect image living 
before me. Once I remember the spirits of my mother and cousin 
entered my room in a dream; all who were present were terrified; 
but I went up firmly, with such feelings as the reality would have 
produced, and touched the apparition, and exclaimed "It is sub- 

December 7th. I was sent to the Court of Haroun Alraschid, God 
knows on what political errand; but it was a very important one, 
and I carried with me a beautiful woman, related to me Heaven 
knows how, who travelled for security in boy's clothes, I also being 
dressed meanly, to escape danger. The Caliph was a very good- 


natured man, but his interpreters, two Spanish renegades, were ex- 
ceedingly insolent, so that I beat them both before his face, not without 
a struggle, and insisted that some honester person should be called not 
rascals who had renounced their religion, and who would falsify what 
I should say, for the sake of injuring me. This was of consequence, 
as I had to deliver my fair charge to the Commander of the Faithful, 
and convince him that I had faithfully acquitted myself of my trust. 

Some time ago I saw Adam an old man, half stupefied with age ; 
he lived in a little lonely cottage, and complained to me that Eve was 
grown old, and did not use him kindly she did not get his supper 
comfortably for him. He told me there were a great many of his 
descendants whom he had never seen, and particularly one William 
Taylor, of Norwich, who, he had heard, was a very clever fellow, and 
he wished to know if I knew him. 

January 7th, 1805. I was supping at Garrick's house, and seated 
at his left hand, at the top of the table ; my memory had made up his 
face accurately; he got upon the table, and spoke an epilogue of 
his own writing in the character of a cook-maid, and promised, at 
Mrs. Garrick's desire, to recite a serious poem afterwards, that I 
might hear him. 

Westminster often makes a part of my dreams, which are always 
uncomfortable. Either I have lost my books, or have Bible exercise 
to do, and feel that I have lost the knack, or am conscious that it is 
not befitting me to continue at school, and so determine to leave it by 
my own will. It is odd enough that school never appears to me as it 
was, with my contemporaries about me, but always as it would be if 
I were there now, among boys all strange to me. Of Oxford I never 
remember to have dreamt, so little has a college life entered into my 
being. Of Portugal very often. The language of my dreams is al- 
most as often Portuguese as English. 

One of the oddest dreams in my recollection befell me when a 
mere child, about six years old, but it is as fresh in my memory as 
if it were a last night's scene. It was that the devil came to pay 
Miss Palmer a morning visit in the dining-room in Galloway's 
Buildings, and I was the only person in the room with her. There I 
sat trembling upon one of the flat-bottomed mahogany chairs, while 
she was bustling about in all the hurry and delight of receiving 
unexpectedly a visit from a great person ' Be seated, dear Mr. 


Devil." Her smile and his smirk, and the villainous nose and 
eyes of old Horny, and his diabolical tail, are before my eyes this 

January 12th. Caesar in Balliol I thought was uninhabited, and 
going to ruin, like Pompey. I went up with somebody to Lightfoot's 
rooms, and found two fellows at work with a crucible. I saw they 
were coining, and one of them ran at me to murder me. I ran down- 
stairs, but found that at the bottom, instead of a door to get out at, 
there was the foot of another staircase, which would lead me up 
again, so that I made for a window, and got out ; the fellow followed, 
but being fairly out, I contrived to place myself between him and his 
haunt, and give the alarm, so that in his turn he fled, and was 

February 5th. Some little girl, a mere child, in her zeal against 
the Mass, was resolved to throw down the pix in the midst of the 
ceremony. I followed her to protect her ; we went through a long, 
low cavern, or vaulted passage, from whence a flight of steps led up 
into the church, and she made for the altar, and took out the wafer, and 
threw it down. The church was very large, and the people but few, 
so that no tumult ensued ; but the priest immediately seized her, and 
led her away. By good fortune this priest was Wingfield ipsissimus 
Gubby so I took him by the arm, and engaged him in conversation, 
pleading for the child, while she made her escape along the same 
vault whereby we had entered. 

February 8th. To my great surprise I discovered that Edith had a 
former husband living. He was either by birth or descent a Spaniard, 
but in the English army ; he had been dotingly fond of her, and she 
of him, till in some action he received a musket ball in his leg, which 
as long as it remained there rendered him feeble, and he would 
not suffer it to be extracted, because some old woman had told him 
the operation would be fatal. Upon this he abandoned his wife. I 
now, however, understood that he was perfectly recovered. The way 
by which I first learnt all this was by seeing a Spanish grammar, so 
philosophically and ably arranged, as to make me inquire for the 
anonymous author, who proved to be this person. Upon questioning 
Edith, she said it was all true ; that he was the handsomest man she 
ever saw, and had made her a very affectionate husband, but that he 

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had behaved very ill in deserting her. I asked if I should write to 
him, or find him out. She said "no," because she felt still a regard 
for him which he did not deserve. I now found some Latin verses 
which he had written ; they were upon the birds in their brooding 
season, and concluded with a reference to the happiness he had once 
enjoyed at Bristol, but which he had by his own folly forfeited. 
These I explained to Edith, saying that perhaps he was in want, and 
we ought to find him out and relieve him. But she still seemed 
unwilling to have any communication with him, and I could perceive 
that this was rather because she loved him too much than too little. 

I have uniformly in my dreams fancied that whenever I attempted 
to read, the page was blank, or, to speak more accurately, that there 
were lines without letters, and the perplexity occasioned by being 
obliged to divine what words would fill up the due spaces, analogous 
to the feeling perpetually occurring in sleep of losing one's hat or 
shoes in the street an uncomfortable and disquieting sense that 
something is wanting, you cannot tell why. This impossibility of 
reading is perfectly explicable ; the mind cannot form its associations 
and embody or print them co-instantaneously. One operation must 
precede the other, and it is as impossible in dreams to read what is 
passing as it is to overtake your own shadow. 

February Wth. I discovered that King Fernando el Catholico 
was my father, to my inexpressible grief, and told my mother, that of 
all human beings there was scarcely one whom I regarded with more 
horror and hatred, and that I would submit to any torments which 
could purge his blood out of my veins. 

February 18th. There was some building to be entered, but it 
required faith, and fearlessness, and fortitude to enter it, for the 
ground before the entrance was fiery, and the nearer the door the 
more intense the burning, and they who were unworthy would be 
thrust back by some unseen power. What was within I knew not ; 
but once in, and there was an end of all pain or calamity for ever. I 
took the child, and being barefooted and almost naked, went on, ex- 
claiming from some inexplicable association : " Jesus and St. Ignatius 
Loyola!" There were two persons before me engaged in the same 
adventure, and, in spite of the burning ground, we all got in. Some 
dozen or score had succeeded before us, and as soon as I had entered 


they began to dance, and wanted me to join, as if triumphantly ; but 
I, who had the sort of feeling as if death were over, and I was now 
in the world to come, turned away with anger at the proposal, and 
began to examine what place I was in. It was a huge church of 
white marble, Parian, without spot, or streak, or stain; and there 
were seats around it, rising one above another, as in a theatre, and 
the seats were of the same pure white marble as the building. I went 
through the building into a park, and here the connexion ceased, and 
the dream became vague and worthless. 

Five nights ago, at Grasmere, I thought a fiend and a good spirit 
were shooting arrows at each other, many of which fell near me, and 
I gathered them, and endeavoured to shoot at the fiend also, who was 
very little, but never could fit them to the bow. The good spirit at 
last heaped coals and peat upon the head of his enemy, so as to bury 
him completely, till he, by the fieryness of his nature, kindled them, 
and they blazed and burnt, burning him, who yet could not be con- 

February 27th. I saw a man whose name was Apollonius, who 
for some grievous sin had received a grievous punishment. A worm 
like a viper, about three inches in length, and proportionately thin, 
was fastened upon one of the nerves of a decayed tooth, and I saw it 
hanging therefrom, though at times it lay coiled within the cavity. 
The poor wretch was relating his sufferings to me with so much 
contrition and resignation, that his repentance was accepted, and the 
worm fell off. It crawled into a fire, and here the dream adapted 
itself to old notions, for as the creature entered the flames it put out 
legs like a salamander, and lay parching in that shape till it was 
dried up and consumed. 

Not unfrequently I have dreamt of being among old graves newly 
opened, or vaults, and the smell of the dead has been particularly 
offensive ; the smell has always resembled the bitter pungency of 
cheese in its blackest state of putrefaction. This being uniform, must 
depend on some physical cause. 

April 2nd. I thought I was assisting at the removal of my 
grandfather's body, with so much recollection of place and persons 
that A.shton was the scene, and Lewis the clergyman who was to read 
the funeral service. The cofiin was of an odd shape, bearing some 

2 B 2 


resemblance to a body, and appeared to be of a thin and yellowish 
metal ; some of the bystanders moved away from it, but I observed it 
could not occasion any offensive smell, as nothing but bones could 
possibly remain of a man who had been dead above forty years. But 
presently the coffin moved, and it was evident the body was alive ; it 
was opened, and after some struggles the body threw off its outer coat 
of skin, and got up, to everybody's astonishment. I looked to my 
uncle to see if it was really his father, and finding this was the case, 
formed a theory that we had hitherto mistaken the nature of death, 
which did nothing more than bring man into a chrysalis state, in 
which he was to lie awhile, and then cast his slough, and come out 
fresh as a bird after moulting. 

May 15th. I was at some dramatic representation, which was en- 
acted within a circumvallation of stones, like a Roman camp, on which 
I stood, not without wondering at the theatre ; from thence I went 
to introduce myself to George Kose, who lived in a very fine house, and 
said how much he was obliged to me for the visit, and how he should 
have been mortified if I had gone on without calling on him. I was 
somewhat ashamed of my hat this while, and endeavoured to hide 
the ragged part of the lining. "We talked of Christ Church and Bur- 
ton, &c. Presently I was in my bedroom, as his guest, with a sense of 
danger. I thought that, having dressed under this apprehension, and 
left the room, I stept back into it, for something which I had for- 
gotten, upon which a spell took effect, which would have been vain 
if I had not returned there, and I became the prisoner of Mrs. Rose, 
for she was a malignant enchantress. Some dim association about 
young Rose and Amadis must have produced this. 

Afterwards I found myself with Edith sitting down to dinner 
with the prophet Mohammed in some far country, where we noticed 
with wonder that the furniture and food were both in the English 
fashion. Some alarm was given, I know not what, except that we 
all were in danger of being taken up. What became of the prophet ? 
If he himself cannot tell, nobody else can ; but I worked a miracle 
like a Domdanielite, pronouncing aloud I remember not what, with 
such faith, that Edith and I were taken up in the air, and conveyed 

October 1st. Here is a long gap. During the whole summer I have 
been so engaged with visitors and walking about the country, that 



having no Daniel to remember my dreams for me, they are irrecover- 
ably gone. 

Last night I had met a Mr. Trevilian, a Somersetshire man. I 
dreamt that I was visiting him in his own county, and this reminding 
me of Glastonbury, I thought that we went to see the ruins. But the 
ruins which I saw in my dream were far nobler than Glastonbury, or 
probably than any existing pile. I thought that, descending a long 
flight of steps, like those which lead from Redcliffe church door, or in 
the Deanery at Westminster, only that they were under the roof of 
the building, we entered a prodigious church, deserted and bearing 
marks of decay, though all its parts were still entire. I have the 
picture vividly before me, the arched windows, and meeting columns, 
the grass between the stones ; the sound of my own footsteps is still 
fresh in my ears, and the feeling of delight and reverence which made 
me in the dream stand half-way down the steps and shed tears. Pre- 
sently I was led to a part of the building which was called the Bea- 
torio ; the most extraordinary place I ever fancied. It was so called 
as being the burial-place of the monks, who were all presumed to be 
in bliss, and the whole floor was covered with statues, admirably 
executed in a fine white stone, of these men rising from the dead all 
in different attitudes, each as large as life, and each made to the 
living likeness of the man whom it represented. One side of this 
place was open to the cloisters, so that all was seen in a strong light. 
The other walls were in like manner covered with figures issuing 

I now thought a sort of Auto of the Last Judgment was to be 
acted in the church. A number of the most ill-looking men had been 
got together to play the damned, and express as much damnation as 
possible in their looks and gestures when they were set aside after 
sentence. The dream now began to confound things : these persons 
seemed to be really the damned ; and I, who did not quite like such 
company, as they were becoming obstreperous, rose to make my escape. 
Some fellow half-damned, half-devil, was placed in the gateway to 
prevent me from going out ; I forced my way by, and creating wings 
with the effort, fled away. A long flight brought me to the mountains, 
and I awoke, just at the fit time, when the whole dream was fairly 
brought to a conclusion. 

October 28th. Looking at the mountains opposite, which appeared 
more rocky and precipitous, a huge mass of rock was thrown down by 


some sudden convulsion of nature, and I saw falling with it a woman 
of gigantic size, as if out of the heart of the cliffs, where she had 
occasioned the earthquake. 

January 18th, 1806. Elmsley was walking with me in Tindal's 
Park, such as it was twenty years ago. Over the stile (which I re- 
member as the best I ever crost), and just by the pond a little hole 
had been freshly dug, from whence we saw that the head of a man 
had been taken out ; the body having been buried upright, and pre- 
sently the trunk rose slowly up in such a state as one sees the ribs of 
a horse left by the dogs and crows. My attention was taken from this 
ghastly sight by something more extraordinary : a figure rose from the 
earth precisely like Elmsley, even in dress ; and in fact he proved to 
be the real Elmsley who touched the one at my side, and made him 
crumble away. 

January 23rd. I was in Germany, and because some German 
friend was going to poison himself, agreed to poison myself to keep 
him company. Accordingly, in a large party I first drank to him " to 
our next meeting," then let him put the poison into my next glass, 
unperceived by anyone. It was a brown powder which by no means 
improved the wine. Presently we were both seized with violent pains 
in the stomach, and both fell ; I suppose by the pain which I actually 
felt that I must have been plagued with flatulence at the time. We 
were each laid on a bed to die there, and not one of the company, 
though they now knew what had happened, went for any assistance ; 
it seemed to be a matter of etiquette to let us die if we chose it. Now 
for my part, though I was perfectly well satisfied to go upon a voyage of 
discovery to the next world, yet it certainly would not have displeased 
me to have had the physician sent for. My pain, however, abated 
and got into the abdomen. I went to my friend and told him this, 
and that I suspected the dose would not do its work. He said he was 
in the last agonies, and so should I be presently ; but, however, it all 
went off. 

July 14th. A Bible which had been Chatterton's was in the posses- 
sion of some woman to whom I went in quest of it. She was as wicked 
a looking creature as can well be imagined, and her looks did not belie 
her. This Bible she had prepared for some magical purpose I know 
not what staining every leaf with the heart's blood of an infant. It 


was the Book of Life, she said, and every leaf was to have a life in it, 
and she had not spared lives to make it complete. As soon as this 
was known, a mob collected, and to my great satisfaction determined to 
set fire to her house, and burn her in it with all that it contained. At 
first I felt a revengeful and righteous pleasure at this, but the house stood 
in a narrow street, and therefore I and young Shepherd, who was with 
me, thought it best to call upon the commanding officer in the town 
and inform him of the danger. We forced our way with much diffi- 
culty through the crowd, and came into the room where he was drink- 
ing his wine : he heard our tale with the utmost coolness, smiled at 
the alarm we seemed to be in, and said he had heard it already and 
given orders accordingly. From hence we returned, but by a back- 
way ; and here, as it very often occurs in my dreams, it seemed as if I 
were crawling along a subterranean way where it was scarcely possible 
to form a passage. At the upper end of this long vault, which was 
under a street, and as rugged as possible, not being arched, we found 
a box and these words written on it : " Take good heed." I opened 
it and found some minerals and four volumes of alchemy : it was left 
there for some person who was attempting the grand secret : a man 
came for it, and I desired him, when he had succeeded and could make 
gold, to be so good as to remember me. This did not break the dream. 
When we came out the house was on fire, but I learnt that the woman 
was not in it. Once she had attempted to run out, but was forced 
back again by the mob, but a man-servant staid with her to the last, 
and the people were so struck by his fidelity, that they suffered them 
both to come out. The woman was scorched from head to foot, her legs 
being black as cinders, and in this state she was reserved for justice. 

August 10th. I and Mr. Bunbury were in my room at dough's, 
which then belonged to him: there was in the room a large mahogany 
case like a shop counter, which he opened, and showed me under it a 
sort of arch-work of wood at both ends and stone in the middle, so 
secured, that like the patent coffins, it could neither be opened from 
within, nor from without. Some villain he said had murdered a man, 
and made this place to hide the body in, but he had arrived in time to 
inclose the murderer there with the dead body, and there, though this 
was long ago, he was alive still. I was for attempting to open it, and 
seeing the mystery. 

November 19th. Walking from my father's into High Street, I 


found the people shutting their shops because there was a great show 
coming, and I waited to see it. Presently the volunteers came one by 
one on horseback, each wielding his own particular weapon, which 
were swords of every possible shape, some even made expressly for 
back strokes. Everything was as cheerful as possible till, on a sudden, 
two women, half undrest, weeping, and with swollen eyes and cheeks, 
brought in an armed-chair, which they carried like a sedan, a dead man 
naked. A ghastlier sight I never called up in any hour of waking 
imagination, and shall not soon forget the shock it gave me. This, it 
seemed, was the corpse of Lord St. Vincent, who had just expired. 
Presently I found myself (the French phrase is philosophically appli- 
cable to the change of place in dreams) at my father's again, in the 
back parlour Lord St. Vincent with me ; for though he was dead, 
the Devil was not yet come for him. We were looking out of the 
window upon some water- works which he had made in his lifetime. 
These were of a very extraordinary kind a rough and roaring stream 
came rolling down to a dam formed by four sluices which reached com- 
pletely across it. This stream was accustomed to carry down with it 
many things swept from its banks, which, of course, struck the dam ; 
immediately, by some machinery, one of the four sluices opened below, 
swallowed up the thing which struck against it, and vomited it up on 
the other side with prodigious force. Some of these water- volcanoes 
opened on the tops of the houses, so that no place seemed safe from 
their fury. St. Vincent was about to open one just over my head, 
upon which I took the liberty of reminding him that as he was in 
momently expectation of the Devil's coming to fetch him, he might 
employ his time better. He said " yes," he felt something like brim- 
stone tingling at his fingers' ends already, and would go and say his 
prayers; and thus my dream left him making the best use of his time. 
I had been reading aloud overnight the opening of " Kehama," and 
St. Vincent may have been the shadow of Arvalan; the dam at the 
water- works was the mill-weir behind St. James's bath, which in my 
infancy I saw so often from John Ashbourne's, and remember so well, 
though I have never been since in that direction ; and the housetops, 
on which the sluices vomited up, were those on the right hand of the 
Plume of Feathers over Ewbank's kitchen. 

December 15th. I was reading of a Doctor Bocardo, who had dis- 
covered a mode of curing fevers by putting the patient into what he 
called one of his Burning Hells, which was a place heated to the 


greatest degree that life could bear. The extreme heat decomposed 
the matter of the disease. 

December 1th, 1807. Alas ! my dreams are as good as Nebuchad- 
nezzar's, and I can remember them no better. Last night all that I 
can recall to mind is that an old man, I know not why or wherefore, 
was to leap from a precipice as high as the summit of Skiddaw. It 
was some religious act, or voluntary one, for everybody regarded him 
with reverence ; I went to behold him, not without some struggle of 
feelings. The old man appeared upon the precipice, his stature seem- 
ing larger than life ; he was in a full green habit, not unlike a friar's ; 
he lifted up his right hand to heaven and said something which we 
could not hear, and then leaped off. I saw him descending in an up- 
right posture ; it was in a situation where I could not see him when he 
came to the ground, and I hastened away, deafening myself that I 
might not hear the fall. Altogether the effect was very awful, but 1 
cannot call back the circumstances which sanctified it. 

August 16th, 1808. Last night I and the King of Denmark were 
taken prisoners by Charles XII. of Sweden, I having been grievously 
wounded in the thigh. He was determined to put us to death, and 
sent for us into his chamber to tell us so. How it happened I know 
not, but I and my brother of Denmark for I was as good a king as 
himself were not on good terms. However, I helped him to a chair, 
for he was desperately hurt, and seated myself. And then I gave 
Charles what I really believe was a very eloquent philippic : the 
murder of Patkul, I told him, was the crime which had damned him 
in this world and the next. I stung him to the very heart, and by 
way of generosity he told us he would put off our execution till one 
in the morning, and we might go to bed if we pleased. I made answer 
that with that wound in my thigh and a wife and children in England 
it was not very likely I should go to sleep, and that if I did, I should 
not like to get up at one in the morning to be put to death. So the 
sooner that business was performed the better. 

July 13th, 1818. I have spent an hour vexatiously in looking in vain 
for my dream-book, which I very foolishly have disused for many years. 
Last night I had so strange a one that it renewed in me the old desire 
of preserving such things. 


I was with Landor. He and I an hundred years ago had stabbed 
a man, and that man, by some art magic, was laid in a stone coffin to 
sleep for a century, at the end of which time we, whether we liked it 
or not, were to read the characters upon the stone which covered him, 
and this would bring him to life. The operation of time had been 
suspended upon us during the hundred years; the time was now full; 
the inscription was nearly illegible; but I, though with some horror 
and much unwillingness, could not help making out the word Barabra ; 
and Landor, with equal unwillingness, made out the rest, the stone 
rising as he read, and bringing up the coffin to a level with the ground. 
I looked under the lid as it lifted itself, and saw a pale-looking man, 
in a wig of Charles the Second's time: he had a wound in his side and 
was waking. 

November 26th, 1818. Every one knows the sense of flying in 
dreams ; with me it requires a perpetual effort of self-propulsion, and 
is accompanied with a sort of apprehension, upon rising to any height 
above the ground, that I may not be able to sustain the effort, and 
may therefore fall. Last night this very common form of dream was 
curiously modified, for I thought I was sitting upon a low stool, and 
made it fly through the air by the application of a short stick to the 
ground, in the manner of punting. While thus employed I met an 
ugly spectacle a living human head, which had been so born without 
any body belonging to it. Waking then, and dwelling upon this till 
I presently again fell dreaming, I thought I was in a castle where 
there were several such heads, well-born, and enjoying respect and 
all the comforts that could be given them. They were sustained 
by odours, and had all the pleasure of taste, but swallowed nothing ; 
and they had power enough of motion to turn themselves as they 

December, 1818. I thought I was at school with poor T. Lamb, 
and questioning myself whether it were a dream or not, seemed to 
satisfy myself that it was not. (I never remember any instance but 
this of such a conclusion.) Presently, however, I recollected having 
read of his death, and looking at him earnestly, I asked him if it were 
true. His countenance appeared mournful, and he said it was. I 
asked if it was well with him, and his reply was not satisfactory, 
and then I asked in much emotion if I could do anything which might 


avail him. I was very much affected, so that the strong feeling 
wakened me. 

Some weeks ago I had just the same dream respecting poor Matthew 
Lewis, only that I was less agitated, as never having had any affection 
for the man. 

Everyone knows the common feeling in dreams of an inability to 
get the limbs on when they are in haste. A similar defect of power 
to correspond with the will I often experience in my sleep, but which 
I do not remember to have seen described. In the midst of an im- 
passioned conversation my voice appears to fail ; the lips, and tongue, 
and larynx perform their part in endeavouring to articulate, but I am 
sensible that no sound is produced. It might seem from this, that at 
other times when I am holding forth in a dream (the only time in 
which I can play the orator) I talk in my sleep ; but this is not 
the case. This is the solution. Both in the attempts to sing and to 
articulate the dream passes the ordinary limits of sleep, in which the 
body should be passive, and attempts to excite action, which the 
waking will alone can call forth. 

July nth, 1819. I was in a church, or covered cemetery, where 
bodies were placed in recesses in the wall, the stone which closed the 
recess bearing the epitaph. Major Christian was there, employed in 
removing two of these stones, because the persons whose names were 
there inscribed were of disgraceful memory. Two old-fashioned coffins 
were thus left exposed. While I was blaming him in thought for 
making this exposure he opened another recess, in which the coffin 
was placed upright, and handling it clumsily, the coffin broke, and its 
tenant, a tall corpse, dressed in the fashion of cloak and doublet, 
trunk-hose, and large, hanging, short boots, came out, sword in hand, 
and fell into the body of the church, where it moved about on its 
legs, without sense or sight, with a drunken sort of motion. The 
dream now became more grotesque than frightful. I was a school-boy 
again. Wynn and Combe were with me, and our sport was to keep 
off this blind vampire, as he stalked, or reeled about, slashing with 
his sword. 

July 27th, 1819. The Princess of Brazil died, and her body 
having been embalmed, was brought in full dress, in a chair, to bo 
deposited, sitting upon a scaffold, in some church, and the remains of 


an attendant with her, also in full dress, but differing in this respect, 
that only the skeleton remained a ghastly figure it was in its silks, 
and gauzes, and lace ! The more so to me when they said it was my 
old acquaintance Miss Palmer. Presently I found myself engaged in 
procuring an asylum for the child of the Princess the last of the 
House of Braganza. 

"When I slept again I was at Swift's house at Dublin, where he 
was living with two sisters the one very plain; the other very 
accomplished and beautiful, deeply in love with him, and breaking 
her heart, like Mrs. Johnson, because of his strange conduct. She 
sung to him a song of her own composing, alluding to her own 

July 7th, 1821. Some person took me to call upon Mr. Spence, 
near Lewes, the humourist, who built Pigmy Hall. And there I saw 
three old ladies, whose ages were one, one hundred and thirty-five ; 
one, one hundred and twenty-five ; and one, one hundred and two. 
The youngest was the only one whose faculties were unimpaired. 
But the odd part of the dream was, that all their chins had grown 
to a great length, being prolonged eight or ten inches in a curve, 
and covered with a thick, black, bushy beard. I thought that this 
curious growth was akin to the production of the ligneous fungus 
which grows upon old wood, as if Nature were thus whimsically dis- 
posing of materials for which it had no better use. 

December 4th, 1821. Palmerin of England gave me Arcalaus, the 
enchanter, in the shape of an egg, the enchanter having taken that 
form, and bade me deliver him to Urganda. Urganda took the egg, 
and said her husband should eat it for his supper. 

Isabel had been reading Amadis and Palmerin, and talking to me 
a great deal about both ; hence this jumbled dream. 

January 4th, 1823. St. Antonio was in Westminster Abbey, as 
his own monument, in perfect preservation, and so veritably sentient 
and alive that he answered me when I asked him, in Portuguese, if 
he were the identical St. Antonio of Lisbon and Padua with whom I 
was so well acquainted in history. The miracle staggered my Protest- 
antism, and I requested Dr. Wordsworth, who was Dean of West- 


minster, to assist me in verifying the fact, and ascertaining that the 
body actually had been there so many centuries, for if this were 
indeed so, the saintship must be admitted, with all its conse- 

January loth. I was visiting an old man, who was an extra- 
ordinary mechanist, and when he was showing me some of his knick- 
knack performances with their secret springs his daughter observed, 
in a half whisper, that for some of his performances a greater power 
than that of mechanism was required. The old man, seeing that I 
did not readily believe in his magical power, followed me to the door, 
and asked if I chose that he should call a spirit, and make him take 
me up into the air, to convince me. I answered that I was willing, 
in God's name, to see the proof. It was night, and accordingly a 
spirit whether good or bad was yet to be discovered appeared in the 
form of a man, and desired me to get upon his back. I pronounced 
something between adjuration and prayer, mounted, and up we went; 
he had no wings, and I compared the motion to that which I was myself 
in the habit of performing in dreams ; but then I was sure that I was 
not dreaming now. I continued, however, my ejaculations, and found 
presently that they made my bearer uneasy, and that he seemed very 
much disposed to throw me off; but I stuck close, and the most 
practised exorcist could not have attacked a foul fiend more success- 
fully than I assailed mine till I brought him to the ground, and 
alighted safe and sound. My next business was to read a lecture to 
the old magician, who, bating that he dealt with the devil, was a 
good-hearted, meritorious person. 

October 5th, 1823. I thought I had been reading in Muratori 
that he buried Johns on a Monday, Williams on a Tuesday, and so 
had different days of the week appointed for interment, according to 
the Christian names of the dead. An odd custom, it struck me, un- 
reasonable, and especially inconvenient in a climate like that of Italy. 
He commented also upon the unfitness of depositing persons of holy 
life in promiscuous cemeteries, owing to which, he said, the relics of 
sinners and criminals had sometimes been honoured as those of saints. 
There was, however, he said, this advantage, that the body of the 
true saint manifested itself in such a place by its incorruptibility. 
Presently I thought that I found myself naked, and laid at length in 
the niche of a catacomb, among the dust of the dead, which resembled 


damp snuff, or moistened bark, in colour and consistency. "What was 
worse, I was clasped in the arms of a living skeleton, which en- 
deavoured to break in my ribs by its grasp. Grief is as intense in 
dreams as in reality, but we can bear horrors in sleep which would 
certainly deprive us of our waking senses, if not of life. I struggled 
with the body of this Death, and at the same time called for help. 
The sexton heard my cries, for I heard him approaching to ascertain 
the cause. This made the skeleton renew his efforts to crush my 
bones, while I worked upon his with the same intent. My attempts 
to cry aloud disturbed Edith, and she awoke me from this singularly 
frightful dream, which left me with a sensation in both sides, as if 
they had been bruised. 

October I4th, 1823. I went to get some bread of P. Antonio 
Yieyra, who was thought to make better bread than any other person. 
He was drest as in his portrait, in the Jesuit habit, and so like that 
portrait, though somewhat older, that I knew him instantly. There 
was a perplexity in my uiind about his being still alive, though he 
said he was more than a hundred years old. He told me he had a 
sad, profligate son, whose name was Daniel Yieyra, and I was reason- 
able enough to be surprised at his having given him a Jewish name. 
I complained of the injustice which his wretched biographer had done 
him in representing him as a mere Jesuit, and wholly overlooking his 
political character and his universal charity. Yieyra was very sensi- 
ble of this, and I wanted him to write his own memoirs. 

October 25th, 1826. Yesterday I had read some of Hurdis's poems, 
and was writing concerning them for the Quarterly Review. This made 
me dream that I saw him and his sisters at their own house, when he 
showed me two volumes of his works in that edition which he had 
printed himself. The printing, to my surprise, was remarkably good, 
and there was a snowy whiteness in the paper which I never saw be- 
fore. Upon my admiring it, he requested me to accept it, and upon 
hesitating because he had no other copy, he told me that the set was 
imperfect, being two volumes instead of three, and he begged I would 
take one as a pledge of friendship. 

March 1st, 1830. The night before last my dream was that I had 
climbed to the top of a tall tree without branches, and when at the 


top, could not come down by sliding as I had expected, for I seemed 
to gravitate upwards. 

May 8th, 1830. Yesterday I read in my brother's MS. Memoir 
poor dear Gooch's dream of his dead child. Though I had no recol- 
lection of it in my sleep, it undoubtedly contributed to what I dreamt 
last night. 

I was at a table somewhere, surrounded with guests, and directly 
opposite was my old schoolfellow and friend, poor Bean. One who sat 
next me asked me if I knew who that singular-looking person was. I 
answered that I knew him very well and had a great regard for him, 
but was amazed at seeing him, because I heard (which was the fact), 
from what seemed undoubted authority, that being paymaster to a 
regiment in the East Indies, and taking money for the troops 
from one East Indian island to another, he had been murdered 
by the Malay boatmen and thrown overboard. Presently Bean 
came round and stood by me. I asked him then if he were dead 
or alive. "Dead," he said; but had come thus to convince me of 
the resurrection of the dead. I replied that I had not needed 
such proof, for I believed in Moses and the Prophets. And then I 
awoke with emotion, not of fear, but of grief, and with tears in my 

July 6th, 1830. I was in that most frequent of all dreamy states : 
self -suspended in the air, exercising that power of moving without 
wings which is always accompanied by a sense of insecurity, a constant 
tendency to rise, and as constant a danger of falling headlong. Perhaps 
in such dreams the stories of saints being elevated in their prayers 
may have originated ; they have dreamed that they were so, and mis- 
taken, or chosen to mistake the dream for reality. 

Last night I was not only thus buoyant myself, but had before me 
a volume of the Ada Sanctorum buoyant in a like manner, open as on 
a desk. Alighting after this, I went into a church with an old man, 
who had witnessed the miracle ; but I had some vague notion that I 
was about to be ordained there, but the miracle had rather disturbed 
me than inspired confidence. I knew that it had not depended in any 
degree on myself as relating to the book, and that it could not pos- 
sibly give any additional authority to the book itself, and that I could 
not render the book buoyant, though I might raise myself into the 
same precarious situation. 


May 10th, 1832. Some whimsical person died, and it appeared by 
his will that he had left me an estate of ten thousand pounds a- year, 
on condition that I should never again wear breeches, pantaloons, 
trousers, or any other modification of that masculine garb. So I was 
deliberating whether to adopt a Moorish or a Highland dress, though 
I feared the former might not be allowed, or to wear coat and waist- 
coat with the philibeg. 


(1). SOUTHEY AND SHELLEY. Mr. Garnett has with much kindness contributed 
towards the completeness of the materials in this volume relating to Southey and 
Shelley by giving me a copy of Shelley's "satire upon satire" a fragment 
spoken of in a letter to Leigh Hunt, dated Pisa, Jan. 26, 1822 : "I began once 
a satire upon satire, which I meant to be very severe ; it was full of small knives, 
in the use of which practice would have soon made me very perfect" (Forman's 
edition of Shelley's Prose Works, vol. iv. pp. 255, 256). This fragment is 
now first published : 

If gibbets, axes, confiscations, chains, 
And racks of subtle torture, if the pains 
Of shame, of fiery Hell's tempestuous wave, 
Seen through the caverns of the shadowy grave, 
Hurling the damned into the murky air 
While the meek blest sit smiling ; if Despair 
And Hate, the rapid bloodhounds with which Terror 
Hunts through the world the homeless steps of Error, 
Are the true secrets of the commonweal 
To make men wise and just ; 
And not the sophisms of revenge and fear, 
Bloodier than is revenge 

Then send the priests to every hearth and home 
To preach the burning wrath which is to come, 
In words like flakes of sulphur, such as thaw 
The frozen tears 

If Satire's scourge could wake the slumbering hounds 
Of Conscience, or erase the deeper wounds, 
The leprous scars of callous infamy ; 
If it could make the present not to be, 
Or charm the dark past never to have been, 
Or turn regret to hope ; who that has seen 
What Southey is and was, would not exclaim, 
Lash on ! be the keen verse dipped in flame ; 

Follow his flight with winged words, and urge 
The strokes of the inexorable scourge 
Until the heart be naked, till his soul 
See the contagion's spots foul; 

And from the mirror of Truth's sunlike shield, 
From which his Parthian arrow 
2 B 3 

384* NOTES. 

Flash on his sight the spectres of the past, 

Until his mind's eye paint thereon 

Let scorn like yawn below, 

And rain on him like flakes of fiery snow. 

This cannot be, it ought not, evil still 

Suffering makes suffering, ill must follow ill. 

Rough words beget sad thoughts, and, beside, 

Men take a sullen and a stupid pride 

In being all they hate in others' shame, 

By a perverse antipathy of fame. 

'Tis not worth while to prove, as I could, how 

From the sweet fountains of our Nature flow 

These bitter waters ; I will only say, 

If any friend would take Southey some day, 

And tell him, in a country walk alone, 

Softening harsh words with friendship's gentle tone, 

How incorrect his public conduct is, 

And what men think of it, 'twere not amiss. 

Far better than to make innocent ink 

(2). Mr. Gamett suggests that the word bald, p. 361, ten lines from bottom ; 
"guilt a bald word, sir, this," should be bold. It is certainly bald in the tran- 
script by Caroline Bowles. 

(3). Mr. Garnett suggests that Shelley's letter accompanying the copy of 
Alastor may have remained unanswered, having reached Southey near the time of 
the death of his son Herbert. 

(4). Mr. Garnett notes with reference to the dream (p. 371) of February 27th, 
1805 ; " St. Apollonia is the saint invoked to cure the tooth-ache, which accounts 
for the name Apollonius." 

(5). Corrections. Page 32, twelve lines from bottom, for paiera read paieras ; 
p. 171, eleven lines from bottom, for lAonzo read Alonzo ; p. 176, 1. 19, forpropably 
read probably ; p. 366, 1. 15, for g if 'tee read gifted. 


" ACTA SANCTORUM," Stories from, 81, 


"Admirals," 336. 343. 
Aiken, Lucy, 319. 
Airey, Professor, 206. 
" All for Love," 139. 
Ambleside, 33. 

"America, Men and Manners of," 279. 
Annuals, 135. 137. 142. 
"Astrea," 279. 
Austen, Lady, 334. 
Austin, Mrs., 275, 276. 
Autographs, 197. 350. 

Barbauld, Mrs., 319. 

Barton, Bernard, 166. 

Basil, St., Legend of, 139. 

Bazaars, 146. 

Beattie, 335. 

Beaumont, Lady, 124. 125. 

Beaumont, Sir George, 115. 

Beckford, 307. 309. 

BeU, Dr., 227. 229. 240. 268. 350. 

Bilderdijk, Mr., 56. 84. 131. 

Bilderdijk, Mrs., 84. 85. 88. 102. 

Birthdays, 69. 204. 317. 

Blackbirds, 163. 

Blackwood, 187. 310. 

Blake, 191. 193. 

Books, 52. 87. 108. 122. 193. 199. 270. 

Books, Naming of, 95. 98. 99. 

" Book of the Church," 25. 77. 80. 108. 

Bowles, Caroline. Sends to S. MS. of 
"Ellen Fitzarthur," 1. Thanks S. 
for advice, 8. Eequests S. to sug- 
gest a subject for verse, 13. Sends 
"Ellen Fitzarthur" to S., 19. Of- 
fers a vol. to Longman, 23. Head- 
aches, 29. Eegrets at leaving Kes- 
wick, 33. Robbery at Buckland, 38. 
Fears with respect to " Kobin Hood," 

43. Receives from S. his collected 
works, 47. Sends first contribution 
to " Robin Hood," 57. Happiness in 
friendship with S., 67. 227. Recol- 
lections of her visit to Greta Hall, 68. 
Influence of early sorrow, 8. 79. On 
growing old, 138. Early recollections, 
134. 153. Receives S/s dedication of 
" All for Love," 155. Its effect on 
the public, 165. Suggests to S. a 
joint vol., 168. Longings for sum- 
mer, 170. On late marriages, 179. 
Destruction of letters and MSS., 182. 
Retrospections, 190. Dreaminess, 192. 
Dissatisfaction with her own work, 
216. Sensitiveness, 228. Serious ill- 
ness, 256. Caricatures, 258. Urges 
S. to write verse, 262. Attachment 
to Buckland, 269. Childish religion, 
277. Warns S. against overwork, 
286. Heavenly acquaintances, 289. 
May at Buckland, 301. Visits the 
'Victory," 305. Delight in S.'s 
visits, 80. 106. 310. Her riding, 328. 
Power of sympathy, 329. 

Bowles, W. Lisle, 26. 28. 93. 231. 250. 
252. 253. 

Bray, Mrs., 242. 246. 251. 350. 

Bristol, 15. 22. 344. 

Bronte, Charlotte, 348. 

Brooks, Mrs., 110. 221. 226. 285. 287. 
294. 295. 

Brougham, Lord, 311. 

Browne, Sir Thomas, 341. 

Burrard, Paul, 60. 60. 91. 

Burrard, Laura, 297. 

Byron, Lady, 187. 188. 191. 193. 237. 

Byron, Lord, 26. 37. 71. 75. 76. 140. 

Calshot, 134. 185. 

Campbell, Letters of, 188. 191. 

Canning, 86. 115. 119. 121. 

2 C 



Carter, Mrs., 335. 

Catherine of Russia, 73. 

Catarrh, Ode upon, 62. 

Cats, 35. 225. 257. 276. 277. 

Cats' Eden, 259. 276. 304. 

Cats, Jacob, 88. 

" Cat's Tail," 196. 199. 

Chesterfield, Lord, Letters of, 219. 

Church, Captain Benjamin, Portrait of, 


" Churchyards, Chapters on," 163. 
Clarke, Adam, Life of, 273. 281. 292. 
Cochrane, James, 315. 
''Cock and Hen," 143. 
Coleridge, John, 87. 93. 
Coleridge, Sara, 56. 87. 175. 177. 
Coleridge, S. T., 93. 310. 326. 
Collier, Miss, 195. 198. 
Colling, Mary, 242. 245. 257. 
"Colloquies," 133. 151. 154. 
Comet, 328. 630. 
Co-operative Societies, 171, 172. 175. 


Corn Laws, Paper on the, 290. 295. 301. 
Cottle, Joseph, 344. 351. 
Country, State of, 209. 211. 234. 
Croker, 301. 332. 

Cunningham, Allan, 137. 143. 161. 
Cowper, William, 296. 299. 302. 312. 

315. 333. 335. 337. 339. 346. 
Cowper's translation of Homer, 224. 

Day-dreams, 36. 42. 44. 

Davidson, Lucretia, 170. 

Dayrolles, Mrs., 269. 283. 

"Devil's Walk, The," 92, 93. 111. 188. 

D'Israeli, 140. 239. 

"Divines, Lives of," 185. 285. 289. 


Doctor, The, 323, 324. 326. 330. 338. 
Doddridge, Philip, 182. 
"Don Juan," 295. 
Dorset, Mrs., 306. 
" Dragon, The Young," 161. 187. 
Dreams, Register of, 110. 

" Eleemon," 145. 184. 
Elia, Letter of, 35. 
Elliott, Ebenezer, 290. 301. 
Evangelicals, 172. 335. 336. 

Factories Bill, 266. 270. 274. 
"Factories, Tales of the," 265. 267. 


Family Library, 185. 189. 191. 
Fiction, 189. 262. 279. 
Fielding, 184. 186. 195. 198. 
Foreign Review, 136. 
Fox, Charles, 281. 
"Eraser's Magazine," 187, 188. 255, 

256. 258. 

Gentleman's Magazine," 128. 
Gifford, 71. 
Gilpin, William, 320. 
Goethe, 276, 277. 

" Goethe, Characteristics of," 275. 283. 
Gomer, Baron de, 32. 
Grignan, Madame, 97. 
Grimshawe, 331. 333. 

Hallam, " Constitutional History," 128. 

Haweis, 336. 

Hay don, 23. 

Hayley, 63. 64. 65. 331. 

Hazlitt, 75. 

Hemans, Mrs., 324. 

Heraud, 116, 184. 

Hesketh, Lady, 322. 331. 334. 

Hick, Samuel, Life of, 274. 290. 

Hobhouse, Pamphlet of, 76. 

Holcroft, Translation of Hermann und 

Dorothea, 27. 
Homer, 349. 
Hope, Anastasius, 233. 
Howitt, Mary and William, 166. 225. 

231. 278. 297. 300. 303. 306. 308. 

314. 315, 
Hutchinson, Miss, 117. 131. 326. 329. 

Huntingdon, Lady, 336. 

"Inscriptions," 50. 54. 60. 94. 
Irish, Vol. of poems for the, 227. 
Irving, 239. 248. 348. 

Jacob, 186. 

Jeffrey, 37. 223. 

Jewsbury, Miss, 162. 164. 184. 

Jews' Society, 102, 103. 

"Joan of Arc," 101. 342. 346. 348. 

" Keepsake," 137. 159. 147. 182. 187. 
Ken, Bishop, 231. 252. 254. 
" King of the Crocodiles," 85. 
Knowles, Herbert, 18. 
Knox, Alexander, 313. 316, 317, 318. 

Lady -missionaries, 103. 173. 

Lamb, Charles, 37. 40. 45. 71. 320. 


Landor, 63. 71. 74. 252. 255. 
Letters of Southey and C. Bowles, 180. 
Letters, Lord Chesterfield's, 219. 
Lightfoot, 27. 70. 87. 
Liverpool, Lord, 115. 119. 
Lockhart, 92. 98. 123. 161. 184. 207. 

237. 273. 

" London Magazine," 75. 
Longman, 19. 180. 185. 
Lowther, 109. 273. 307. 
Lymington, 6. 



Mahon, Lord, 301. 

Major, publisher, 187. 

" Maria del Occidente " ("see Brooks, 


Martineau, Miss, 311. 
Marivaux, 148. 
Medwin, Captain, 71. 75, 76. 
Memoirs, Old French, 99, 100. 
Methodists, 172. 176, 176. 
Metre, 48. 51. 53. 56. 58. 107. 
Milman, 118. 120. 
Milner, 87, 102. 
Montague, Mrs., 335. 
Montgomery, 258, 259, 260. 278. 
Moore, " Life of Byron," 140. 187, 

188. 295. 
Moore, "Life of Lord E. Fitzgerald," 


More, Sir Thomas, Portrait of, 151. 
Mufti, 141. 148. 159. 192. 213. 282. 
Miirray, 13. 42. 73. 75. 87. 100. 123. 

125. 156. 185. 273. 

Names, Christian, 333. 

" Naturalist's Journal, The," 161. 

"Nelson, Life of," 189. 

" New Monthly Magazine," 20. 

Newton, 296. 300. 312, 313. 331. 338. 

Nightingales, 192. 257. 

Novels, 183. 279. 

Nugent, Lord, 263. 273. 

Nuthatch, 158. 160. 163. 

O'Connell, Anecdote of, 271. 
0' Gorman, Song to, 223. 
" Oliver Newman," 68. 100. 
O'Meara, " Voice from St. Helena," 31. 
Opie, Mrs., 101. 105. 145. 173. 261. 
Owen, William, 194. 
Owls, 259. 

Pamela, 236, 237. 

"Paraguay, Tale of," 72. 77. 87. 89. 


Pauper colonies, Paper upon, 186. 
"Peninsular War," 28. 72. 88. 96. 114. 

118. 133. 241. 
Pennie, Mr., 255. 
Philip's War, 66. 

" Philip Van Artevelde," 307, 308. 
Pigeons, 166. 
" Poet's Pilgrimage," 34. 
Polignac, Letter from, 28. 
Politics, 115. 199. 207. 209. 219. 222. 

224. 241. 266. 271. 305. 314. 321. 


Politics, French, 200, 201. 204. 
Ponies, 40. 215. 277. 296. 299. 303. 

306. 327. 

Pope, Letter of, 71. 75. 93. 
Porson, 111, 112. 

Powley, Mr., 336. 338. 
"Priestcraft, History of," 278, 298. 
Publishers, 199. 

Quakers, 166. 231. 315. 

" Quarterly Review," 87, 88. 92. 102. 


123. 137. 174. 181. 198. 263. 309. 
" Queen Mary's Christening," 169. 

Reform Bill, 221, 222. 241. 272. 

Rickman, 198. 308. 

" Robinson Crusoe," 187. 189. 

Robinson, H. C., 275. 

"Roderick," 56. 

Rogers, 110. 307. 

" Roprecht the Robber," 161. 

Rowley, Mr. Clotworthy, 322. 

Russell, Lord John, 322. 

Sadler, 176. 268. 

"Santarem, Legend of," 82. 143. 168. 

SeweU, Mr., Poems of, 264. 

Scott, Sir Walter, 75. 86. 138. 161. 
252. 261. 

Scotland, Tour in, 17. 

" Sea of Life," 25. 

"Selborne," White's, 161. 

Sevigne, Madame de, 85. 96. 98. 

" Seward, Sir Edward," 162. 

Seward, Miss, 319. 

Shelley, 27. 72. 76. 136. 

Shenstone, Letters of, 335. 

Shields, 54. 

Shovel, Sir Cloudesley, 64. 

" Sinner well saved," 150. 

Sleep, 53. 313, 314. 

Smith, Horace, 116. 183. 185. 

Societies, Religious, 103. 116. 

Sotheby, 224. 

Southey, Cuthbert, 35. 37. 40. 71. 88. 
261. 295. 308. 311. 321. 345. 

Southey, Robert, Criticism of "Ellen 
Fitzarthur," 6. Offer of advice, 6. 
Advice on composition, 10. The New 
Forest as subject for a poem, 14. 
Criticises the "Widow's Tale," &c., 
24. Interruptions to work, &c., 20. 
71. 135. 148. 280. 303. Reasons for 
writing on pleasant subjects, 25. 164. 
170. Friendships, 27. 342. Proposes a 
joint poem on " Robin Hood," 42. 45. 
Hay-fever, 28. 61. 117. Sends C. B. 
part of "Robin Hood," 55. Com- 
pletes his fiftieth year, 66. Receives 
a sketch of herself from Caroline 
Bowles, 77. Sympathy with her 
loneliness, 77. 90. Celestial journeys, 
89. 92. Natural frankness, 93. Des- 
pairs of growing rich, 94. Journey 
to Continent, 107. Receives gold 



medal, 122. Keturned M. P. for 
Downton, 108. Home delights, 109. 
140. 217. Plans for Harrogate, 117. 
121. May at Keswick, 139. Pic-nic 
at Leatheswater, 125, 126. Invites 
C. B. again to Keswick, 129. Sil- 
houettes, 132. Proof-sheets, 133. 
Thoughts on the New Year, 150. 
Portraits, 151. 261. Commences the 
' ' Shipwreck, "171. Changes at Greta 
Hall, 177. UndertakeschargeofC.B.'s 
letters and MSS. in case of death, 
174. 249.282. 299. 321. 337. S.'sdaily 
life, 54. 148. 181. 249. 264. 282. 284. 
299. 321. 337. Manner to strangers, 
184. Pleasure in visits to Buckland, 
189. Renews lease of Greta Hall, 
193. Visit to London for political 
reasons, 198. Completes fifty-sixth 
year, 201. Arrives in London, 203. 
Visitors at Keswick, 206. Goes to 
Court, 214. Joy at return home, 53. 
217. Capacity for content, 232. 
Cholera at Keswick, 236. Troubles 
gather, 249. Completes his fifty- 
ninth year, 272. 278. Receives por- 
trait of Caroline Bowles, 280. On 
suicide, 279. Heavenly acquaint- 
ances, 284. 342. Patience, 288. Visit 
to the south, 344. 

Southey, Thomas, "History of the West 
Indies," 63. 

" Souvenir," 90, 91. 147. 184. 

" Spectator," 165. 

Spirits, 318. 

St. Barbe, Mr., 71. 75. 

St.-Simonists, 220. 238, 239. 242. 

Sumner, Bird, 172. 

Sunday schools, 302. 

Swain, Mr., 304. 

Talhot, Miss, 335. 

Talleyrand, 216. 

Taylor, Henry, 93. 110. 123. 177. 180. 

248. 291. 296. 331. 339. 
Thornton, Mr., 296. 300. 313. 346. 
Ticknor, 279. 
Trench, Archdeacon, 274. 
" Triad, The," 152. 
Turner, Sharon, 260. 
Tyler, Miss, 75. 

Unwin, Mr., 322. 331. 333. 
Unwin, Mrs., 331. 333. 

Vaudois, Article on, 88. 93. 95. 100. 
Villiers, Hyde, 243. 248. 
"Vindicise," 88.90. 95, 96. 

Wakefield Gibbon, his pamphlet, 237. 

Warter, Mr., 217. 225. 234. 

Watts, Alaric, 90. 129. 135. 137. 142. 

Watts, Dr., 309. 

Wellington, Duke of, 72, 73. 

Werner, 136. 

Wesley, 332, 336. 

Whitbread, Mrs., 147. 

White, Henry Kirke, 49. 

White, Neville, 49. 335. 

Wilberforce, 77. 80. 

Williams, Sir Charles Hanbury, 72. 

Wilson, Horace Hayman, 136. 

Wilson, Sir Robert, 120. 

Wolfe, General, 126, 127, 128. 131. 145. 

WoUstonecraft, Mary, 51. 62. 

Women as letter -writers, 10. 

Wordsworth, Dora, 152. 184. 300. 303. 

Wordsworth, William, 33. 80. 124, 125. 

131. 151. 164. 184. 225. 231. 288, 

289. 318. 341, 342, 348. 

Yahoos, Country of the, 34. 
-"Zophiel," 285. 287. 290. 293. 296. 




THE Provost and Senior Fellows of Trinity College have undertaken the 
publication of a Series of Works, chiefly Educational, to be entitled the 

The following volumes of the Series are now ready, viz. : 

Six Lectures on Physical Geography. By the REV. S. HAUGHTON, 
M.D., Dubl., D.C.L., Oxon., F.R.S., Fellow of Trinity College, and Pro- 
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An Introduction to the Systematic Zoology and Morphology of 

Vertebrate Animals. By ALEXANDER MACALISTER, M.D., Dubl., Professor of 
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The Codex Re script vis Dublinensis of St. Matthew's Gospel (Z). 
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Also, Fragments of the Book of Isaiah, in the LXX. Version, from an Ancient 
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Professor of Biblical Greek in the University of Dublin. With two Plates of 

The Parabola, Ellipse, and Hyperbola, treated Geometrically. By 

ROBERT WILLIAM GRIFFIN, A.M., LL.D., Ex-Scholar, Trinity College, Dublin. 

An Introduction to Logic. By WILLIAM HENRY STANLEY MONCK, 

M. A. Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Dublin. 
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The Correspondence of Cicero : a revised Text, with Notes and Prole- 
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Faust from the German of Goethe. BY THOMAS E. WEBB, LL.D., 

Q.C., Regius Professor of Laws, and Public Orator in the University of 



The Correspondence of Robert with Caroline Bowles : 

to -which, are added Correspondence with Shelley, and Southey's Dreams. 
Edited, with an Introduction, by EDWARD DOWDEN, LL.D., Prof essor of English 
Literature in the University of Dublin. 

The Mathematical and other Tracts of the late James M'Cullag-h* 
F.T.C.D., Professor of Natural Philosophy in the University of Dublin. Now 
first collected, and edited by REV. J. H. JELLETT, B.D., and REV. SAMUEL 
HAUGHTON, M.D., Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin. 

A Sequel to the First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid, con- 
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By JOHN CASEY, LL.D., F.R.S., Vice- President, Royal Irish Academy ; Member 
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PR Southey, Robert 

5466 Correspondence with 

A4D6 Caroline Bowles